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Report says hitchhiking bugs pose big risk

VANCOUVER, B.C. -- A report released this month has shed some new light on the environmental dangers posed by free...


VANCOUVER, B.C. — A report released this month has shed some new light on the environmental dangers posed by free trade.

The report was issued as governments in Canada, the U.S. and Mexico, expressed concerns about the danger of exotic insects and creatures that could hitch a ride across borders on the back of a truck or cargo ship.

There is concern that with more goods flowing across the borders, bio-invaders could be unknowingly exchanged, and could have a devastating impact on forests and crops.

“There’s an incredible number of pests that have been detected, not just at the container ports but intercepted in shipments,” Canadian Food Inspection Agency spokesman, Greg Stubbings tells local media.

The report warns that although bio-invaders can devastate crops and forests, the bigger economic danger is that other countries will no longer trade with an infected country.

Lee Humble, a researcher with Natural Resources Canada, is calling on truckers to be diligent when they are hauling materials that could host foreign species of bugs.

“This is a huge problem,” Humble tells local media. “I don’t think the general public is fully aware of the consequences of a lot of things that come into this country. It’s often hard to make the connection that something that is two-tenths of a millimeter long can actually kill a tree.”


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