HEALTH

Rice destined for Fairfax rejected due to beetle infection

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Customs officials in Baltimore intercepted a shipment of rice from Pakistan that was tainted with dead beetles, just days before new federal restrictions on imports are set to be enacted.

Federal inspected discovered dead Khapra beetles in a shipment that included 1,230 sacks of rice. The entire shipment was destined for a food distribution center in Fairfax.

All 48,000 pounds of rice will be shipped back to Pakistan. The Khapra is considered to be one of the world's most destructive insect pests of grains, cereals and stored foods, Customs officials say. It's the only insect which the agency takes action against even if they're dead.

U.S. Customs and Border Patrol officials had announced Monday that that they'll begin to enforce a new USDA restriction on rice imports from beetle-infested counties starting July 30. These countries include several from Africa, the Middle East and South Asia.

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