US borders at risk of bio-invaders?

Legislators and scientists say Homeland Security isn't doing enough to keep US borders safe -- from pests, that is

Anne Harding
May 15, 2007
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) isn't protecting US borders from agricultural pests and invasive species, and should transfer responsibility of border patrol back to the US Department of Agriculture, say farmers, environmental groups, and legislators."There's an obvious need for attention to thugs and drugs, but that sometimes means that the bugs are not paid attention to," said Bob Ehart, animal and plant health safeguarding coordinator at the American Nursery & Landscaping Association, a Washington, DC-based lobbying group. "You don't hire policeman when you want to get rid of termites in your house, and it's the same thing here," noted Tim Male, a scientist at Environmental Defense.AN&LA and ED are among 22 groups backing a bill Senators Dianne Feinstein and Dick Durbin introduced in March that would move responsibility for agricultural inspections from DHS back to the US Department of Agriculture. The bill is currently before the...

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