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Customs caught a traveler smuggling exotic meat across the French border
A man was caught with 35 pounds of armadillo and crocodile meat in the trunk of his car.
There is plenty of excellent food to be had in Europe, but sometimes people go to extremes to get the one thing they just can’t find locally, as in the case of a man who was arrested this week for trying to smuggle a car full of armadillo meat into Switzerland.
According to The Local, a Frenchman who lives in Switzerland was crossing back into the country from France when customs officials found a pile of exotic meat hidden in a suitcase in his trunk. Although he said he had nothing to declare, officials say the man had one snake head, a few pieces of Nile crocodile, and parts of two armadillos wrapped up in plastic bags to enjoy later. Altogether, he had 35 pounds of illegal meat in his car. The meat reportedly originated in Cameroon.
Once caught, the driver said he had no idea what was in the suitcase, and said he was just taking it to some acquaintances in Zurich and had not bothered to ask if it was full of armadillo meat. Armadillo is a protected species in Switzerland.
The meat has been seized by customs and will be destroyed for health concerns, as it cannot be confirmed that the meat was processed safely.
Swiss Urged to Stop Eating Cats and Dogs
Potentially hundreds of thousands of people in Switzerland eat cats and dogs, an animal rights group has claimed after launching a petition to ban the practice.
Campaigners claim a quarter of a million people indulge in the ‘traditional but secretive’ consumption of domesticated animals, with dog meat used mainly in sausages while cat meat is cooked with herbs and stewed in white wine, according to The Times.
But the petition has collected more than 16,000 signatures demanding that legislators stop the practice in certain regions of the country including Berne, Lucerne and Jura.
SOS-Chats Noiraigue has begged the parliament in Berne to outlaw the consumption of domestic cats and dogs, with felines particularly popular for Christmas-time consumption.
Tomi Tomek, the German founder of the organisation managed last year to ban the sale of cat fur, helped by supporters including Brigitte Bardot who has devoted her life to helping animals.
“These animals form part of a family they must not end up on a dinner plate,” said Ms Tomek. “Around three per cent of the Swiss secretly eat cat or dog.”
But one farmer told Swiss paper Le Matin, “here is nothing odd about eating dogs.”
“The way we prepare it, it tastes like any other meat, and no one knows what they are eating anyway,” he added.
The wife of the Swiss ambassador said the high price of meat in the country could explain the practise of preying on pooches. She said the most preferred breed was one related to the Rottweiler but that cats were more popular.
“They put several cats in the pot. Young ones are more tender,” said an SOS-Chats spokeswoman in an interview with French radio station RTL. She said that unlike some more acceptable forms of meat, cats were not eaten openly even if recipes were shared amongst communities.
Calling the practise “barbaric and outdated” she said she was confident that the parliament would put forward legislation to outlaw the practise. For while the sale of cat and dog meat is legal, the slaughter of cats and dogs for consumption is illegal.
There was a belief among the movement that Swiss furriers were conducting cat-napping raids across the French border, which they say the ban on the sale of feline pelts has halted.
Former MEP Godfrey Bloom, who made a speech in the European Parliament over fellow EU countries eating horses, was unimpressed by the news.
He told Breitbart London: “We used to have Swiss chocolate cats on the christmas tree as a lad. I fear the soft centred ones might not have been quite what we thought.”
Pangolin released into wild under China's new protections
In this photo taken June 11, 2020, and released by CBCGDF, Sophia Zhang, a staffer from China Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Foundation, or CBCGDF, collects oral and nasal secretion sample for testing from the Pangolin named Lijin at the Jinhua wild animal rescue center in eastern China's Zhejiang province. (CBCGDF via AP)
BEIJING – Activists in China have released a pangolin into the wild to celebrate new protections for the armadillo-like animal whose numbers in the country have dropped to near extinction levels.
Volunteers had rescued and rehabilitated the pangolin nicknamed Lijin after it was found by a fisherman in the eastern Chinese province of Zhejiang.
“This is a good start … but this is not good enough,” said Zhou Jinfeng, secretary-general of the China Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Fund, the group behind the lone pangolin’s release on Thursday.
Just last year in Zhejiang, authorities arrested 18 smugglers and confiscated 23.1 tons of pangolin scales sourced from an estimated 50,000 creatures, according to Chinese state media.
After volunteers unlocked a transport crate, the foot-long pangolin crawled onto the lush forest floor outside Zhejiang's Jinhua city. It’s brown scales and pink paws quickly disappeared in the emerald underbrush.
“We will release a lot more soon,” said Zhou, who has vowed to free all pangolins in captivity in China.
The U.S.-based group Save Pangolins said China’s granting of top-level protected status earlier this month was “a massive win for pangolins” after years of weak enforcement of existing restrictions. Pangolin scales are an ingredient in traditional Chinese medicine and its meat is considered a delicacy by some.
Environmental groups say that poachers had regularly circumvented the original regulations to sell illegally hunted pangolin scales and meat, often sourced from Africa and Southeast Asia.
That has made pangolins “one of the most illegally traded mammals on the planet” with an estimated 1 million sold in the past 15 years, according to the Environmental Investigations Agency. Seizures have been recorded from Belgium to Singapore to Australia and the Philippines.
China’s increased protection forbids the raising of pangolins in captivity and the use of their scales in the nation’s mammoth traditional medicine industry.
Zhou said that efforts to halt the sale of pangolins in China were buoyed by a raise in global awareness of the wildlife animal trade linked to the outbreak of the coronavirus in the central Chinese city of Wuhan.
The June 5 order from the National Forestry and Grassland Administration did not explicitly mention the outbreak as a reason for the measure, but the timing appears to indicate it could be part of China’s nationwide crackdown on the wildlife trade following the pandemic.
Scientists say the coronavirus was most likely transmitted from bats to humans via an intermediary animal such as the pangolin.
Trade in wildlife including bats and pangolins has been linked to so-called zoonotic diseases that leap from animals to humans, and China quickly cracked down on the industry in a series of measures long-promoted by environmental groups.
Zhou said China's native pangolins have been all but wiped out. Over the past five years, Zhou and volunteers found only five where hundreds of thousands lived just three decades ago.
Zhou said the new protections give groups like his the right to sue businesses and individuals selling pangolin scales. However, he wants to go a step further by releasing into the wild all captive pangolins in China and burning all confiscated pangolin scales, similar to how Kenya incinerated seized elephant tusks in a bid to end the illegal trade that continues to this day.
Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.
Scale of pangolin slaughter revealed – millions hunted in central Africa alone
A ground pangolin. Pangolins are one of the world’s most endangered species, some estimate that over one million of them are killed every year for their scales, meat and blood. Photograph: Adrian Steirn/Barcroft Images
A ground pangolin. Pangolins are one of the world’s most endangered species, some estimate that over one million of them are killed every year for their scales, meat and blood. Photograph: Adrian Steirn/Barcroft Images
Last modified on Wed 14 Feb 2018 17.06 GMT
The true scale of the slaughter of pangolins in Africa has been revealed by new research showing that millions of the scaly mammals are being hunted and killed.
Pangolins were already known to be the world’s most trafficked wild mammal, with at least a million being traded in the last decade to supply the demand for its meat and scales in Asian markets. Populations of Asian pangolins have been decimated, leaving the creatures highly endangered and sharply shifting the focus of exploitation to Africa’s four species.
Pangolins are secretive, nocturnal and some species live in trees, making them very hard to count and the total size of the populations in Africa is unknown. But the new analysis, based on data collected by hundreds of local researchers at scores of hunting sites and bushmeat markets across central and west Africa, found up to 2.7m are being killed every year, with the most conservative estimate being 400,000 a year.
“The number is definitely shocking,” said Daniel Ingram, at the University of Sussex, UK, and who led the research team. “Pangolins have been hunted out of many areas in Asia and recent analyses show there is a growing international trade between Africa and Asia. If we don’t act now to better understand and protect these charismatic animals, we may lose them.”
Pangolins curl up into a scaly ball when threatened, which defeats natural predators like lions but is no defence against human hunters. The researchers found half the animals had been snared or trapped, despite wire snares being illegal in most of the 14 central African nations analysed in the research.
The analysis, published in the journal Conservation Letters, also found that almost half of the pangolins killed were juveniles, an indicator that the populations are being dangerously overexploited as animals are being caught before they can reproduce. This is particularly harmful as pangolins are slow breeding and produce only a single pup every year or two.
The new estimates of pangolins killed are likely to be minimum numbers as they included only three of Africa’s four pangolins, the giant, white-bellied and black-bellied species. The fourth, the cape pangolin, lives in southern and eastern Africa, outside the study area.
Furthermore, it is illegal to kill giant pangolins in all the countries, meaning not all the illicit trade in the animals will be included in the estimates. The giant pangolins are particularly sought after and the researchers found the price demanded in urban markets has soared almost six times since the 1990s. They also found hunting of the African pangolins in 2014 was 150% higher than in the 1970s.
Richard Thomas, from the wildlife trade monitoring network Traffic, said very little had been known about pangolin populations in central and west Africa. He also pointed the “remarkable regularity” of major pangolin seizures. In June alone, Malaysian authorities seized three big shipments of pangolin scales, each representing many thousands of animals and originating from Africa.
Malaysian authorities seized almost 400kg of pangolin scales trafficked from Ghana for the second time in three days, an official said on June 16. Photograph: Manan Vatsyayana/AFP/Getty Images
A total ban on the international trade in any pangolin species was passed by the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species in September. But Ingram said the enforcement of both international and national laws had to be increased to prevent African pangolins following their Asian cousins on the path to extinction.
The demand in Asia for pangolin meat and scales as delicacies and supposed medicinal uses is a major factor in cross-border trade but a significant proportion of African pangolins are eaten locally. Ingram said that measures are also needed to develop alternative livelihoods for African hunters of pangolin, but he believes there is still enough time left to act: “I am optimistic that something can be done.”
How to Grate Cheese
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Cheese is the ultimate garnish. Though grating cheese is a very simply task, there are so many ways to slice this savory treat. Here are a few "grate" ways to shred your own cheese.
- Because microplanes tend to produce smaller pieces of grated cheese, they are best used with hard cheeses such as Parmesan or Pecorino. Grating a soft cheese like mozzarella with a microplane would only give you a mushy mass instead of cleanly grated cheese.
- Because box grates tend to have larger teeth, they work well with softer cheeses such as mozzarella or havarti.
- Choose whichever grater plate suits the dish. The medium sized holes are great for garnishing tacos, but not so much for making crumb-like Parmesan to go on Spaghetti.
- Hold a medium sized block of cheese over a regular sized plate. Rub the peeler against the cheese in a continuous forward motion.
- For higher quality slices, refrigerate the cheese first or opt for a hard type of cheese (such as Parmesan).  X Research source
- Hold a small chunk of cheese against the surface of a plate. Gently slice off thin shreds onto the plate.
- Opt for a plain edge rather than a serrated edge. Plain edge knives are better at shaving and skinning.  X Research source
- Avoid holding large blocks of cheese. Since knife work is more dangerous than other grating options, you want to have a steady and firm grip on the cheese.
- Refrigerate your cheese until it is firm but not too hard. Chop it into smaller blocks and place it in your food processor.  X Research source Be cautious about overloading your processor. Some food processor blades have seized up or become unbalanced when grating cheese.  X Trustworthy Source Consumer Reports Nonprofit organization dedicated to consumer advocacy and product testing Go to source
- Turn the food processor on and monitor the shape of the cheese shreds. Once you have shredded the cheese to your liking, turn off the processor and empty it onto a plate.
- If your processor has a shredding disk, select this blade as it will provide better quality slices.
- Avoid processing softer cheeses such as Mozzarella. This will result in smeared, not shredded, cheese.  X Research source
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Woman smuggling raw animal brains in luggage detained at DFW Airport
4:01 PM on Feb 10, 2017 CST
A woman flying into DFW International Airport from Vietnam was found with 22 pounds of illegal animal parts in her suitcase last week.
Officials with U.S. Customs and Border Protection seized raw brains, hearts, heads, tongues, feet and other body parts from chickens, pigs and cows, WFAA-TV (Channel 8) reports.
"These kinds of meat products are potential carriers for harmful diseases that could result in devastating effects on our agricultural industry," said Cleatus Hunt Jr., port director for Dallas U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
The discovery was made on Feb. 4, when the woman provided a negative customs declaration, but was referred to have her luggage examined.
Officials said the animal parts were destroyed by using steam sterilization. The woman's name was not released.
Last month, a passenger was caught trying to smuggle five uncooked chickens and three packages of raw pork meat.
Airport officials said the passenger was returning from El Salvador on Jan. 20 and told agriculture specialists that he was carrying fried chicken in his bag, but when they examined his luggage they found the raw meat.
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BERLIN (AP) — Switzerland said Friday it has agreed in principle with Uzbekistan on the terms under which money seized as part of a money-laundering investigation against the eldest daughter of former Uzbek President Islam Karimov will be returned to the Central Asian nation.
The “framework agreement” signed by the two countries will see assets worth around $131 million, seized from Swiss accounts belonging to Gulnara Karimova in 2012, returned to Uzbekistan.
The deal, which still needs to be formalized before it is legally binding, will require Uzbekistan to use the assets “to improve the living conditions of the people of Uzbekistan,” invest the funds in sustainable projects and ensure transparent monitoring, the Swiss government said.
A further 650 million Swiss francs ($715 million) seized from Karimova remains frozen as part of the ongoing criminal proceedings against Karimova. Should those funds be released, they would be subject to the same conditions of restitution, the Swiss government said.
Karimova is suspected of receiving large sums from foreign telecommunications companies in connection with contracts in Uzbekistan.
She was placed under house arrest in Uzbekistan in 2014. Her current whereabouts are unknown.
Islam Karimov was Uzbekistan’s president from 1991 until his death in 2016.
Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Choice Cut Or Mystery Meat? A Guide To Mexican Butcher Shops: Part I – Beef
One of the most puzzling aspects of marketing for the newly arrived resident of Mexico is shopping for meat. It is frequently cut differently than it is north of the border, to accommodate Mexican cooking techniques. At first glance, the contents of the glassed-in meat counters in the mercado seem to resemble the “Texas Chain Saw Massacre” rather than any familiar cuts of meat. Even in the supermarkets, labels are often confusing.
The basic cuts are not so different, but the way they are broken down often is. However, meat can usually be cut to order if the shopper has the right nomenclature. This is also true for those living outside Mexico and trying to prepare Mexican recipes. What to use for authentic fajitas, guisados, or asados? In response to reader requests, we’ll take a look at Mexican beef cuts, how they are used, and what they are called.
Beef in general is called carne de res. Ground beef is molida de res, and Mexican butchers will grind any cut requested, which is good news for those wanting extra lean ground meat. With all the recent scares about pre-ground beef in the U.S., it is somewhat reassuring to get the meat custom ground. If the beef is to be finely chopped instead of ground, ask for picada.
Cuts of Beef
The same holds true for milanesas, or cutlets. The butcher will cut them to order right in front of the customer, and then pound them to the desired thickness. Vigilance is recommended here. If not watched carefully, the carnicero will pound them until they resemble slivers of Swiss cheese. The customer then brings them home, dips them in egg, and, with a rolling pin, presses as many breadcrumbs into the slices of meat as they can hold, fries them, and serves milanesas de res, a classic Mexican way of extending a small quantity of meat.
With the exception of roasts, which are not served frequently, and grilled meat, Mexican butchers usually cut beef into thin slices or cubes. The pre-Hispanic people did not have bovine or porcine red meat, and the colonials most often had servants to cut the meat into the small pieces frequently found in Spanish dishes, a job is that is usually done today at the carnicería (butcher shop.) Butchers also do a painstaking job of removing fat, and sometimes have to be stopped from cutting off too much of this carrier of flavor, since Mexican beef is generally leaner and less well-marbled than that found in other places. For this reason, many Mexican beef dishes are braised or stewed.
Mexican beef is generally not aged, making it tend toward toughness, so that meat to be treated in any other way but stewing or braising benefits greatly from marinating. The ubiquitous bisteces (beefsteaks) are nearly always cut from a non-marbled piece of meat and marinating is highly recommended. (In recent years, the importation of grain-fed beef from the U.S. and Argentina has made tender beef more readily available in restaurants and urban supermarkets. According to the 2007 Annual Livestock Report for the Republic of Mexico, 85% of the beef imported into Mexico comes from the U.S. The Mexican cattle industry, in working to gain self-sufficiency, is currently focusing on increasing its calf production.)
Besides not being aged, beef in Mexico is also not generally thickly cut, even in supermarkets, where recognizable cuts such as rib eye are often much thinner than what foreigners have in mind for a “thick, juicy steak.” The exception to this is in the northern part of the country, where the beef is generally cut thicker than in the south. A thicker-cut steak is sometimes called a chuleta, while the bistec is usually cut thinly.
When asking for a whole piece of meat, as opposed to having it cut into cubes, ask for it en trozo, and specify how many kilos are needed. The butchers have a good eye for estimating weight in cutting a piece for, say, pot roast. Again, butchers are quite accommodating as far as cutting to order, but if shopping at a mercado rather than a supermarket, it is advisable to get there early, before all the meat has been cut.
The other reason for getting to the meat section of the market early is that many of the stalls keep the meat unrefrigerated. Here in cool Central Mexico, this is not of much concern during most of the year, and lately I’ve noticed that more of the larger stalls in the markets are keeping their inventory in meat lockers, with only some cuts displayed in the glass cases. However, in the warmer tropical areas of the country, it is advisable to get to the carnicería early.
In researching this article, I used several sources, including charts of beef cuts from both Mexico and the U.S., as well as the chart at my favorite carnicería, along with several conversations with the very patient butcher. These all combined to help me sort through this topic, although it will always be a work in progress and involve discoveries of regional words. (Organ meat is a whole other topic, not included here.)
In presenting the information, it seemed pointless to simply list the vocabulary for the various cuts, so I chose to break it down into categories headed by the basic cuts and the recommended cooking methods for each. The information is accompanied by a diagram that shows the major sections and, within them, the cuts most likely to be requested by foreigners. It might be helpful to take along and point out what you want, at least until the butcher becomes accustomed to your preferences. While the most commonly used names for different cuts of beef are used here, there are regional, and even local, variations. The norteños, in particular, have different ways of cutting and labeling meat, as do the butchers in Chiapas.
Recipes for using different cuts of meat follow the article. Next month: Pork and Lamb.
Cortes de Res: Cuts of Beef
Diezmillo: Chuck (Braise or stew)
This is the topmost part of the forequarter, used for chuck roasts, both boneless and bone-in. The upper part of the chuck, directly behind the head, is called the pescuezo (neck), used for making the fortified beef broth called jugo de res. The paleta (shoulder) is used for chuck steaks and pot roasts. The rest of this cut is simply called diezmillo. Cross rib pot roast, also called boneless English roast, comes from the bottom part of this cut, while blade roasts and steaks come from the upper portion. Since these are not common cuts in Mexico, order ahead (the diagram should help) or chances are that they will have been cut for milanesas, bisteces, or carne para guisar (stew meat.)
Pecho: Brisket (Braise or stew)
This is located under the chuck. The front part of the chest, above the fore shank, is generally used for res para guisar (stewing beef). The back part of the chest is the flat cut Americans generally think of as brisket. This is a cut that would usually be cut up for stews in Mexico, and one of those that needs to be specially ordered or custom cut early in the day. Corned beef brisket is not often found in Mexico, but when it is, it is called pecho curado.
Chambarete: Shank (Braise or stew)
Under the chest is the chambarete de mano (fore shank). It is most often cross cut and makes a good substitute for veal in preparing osso buco, in which case ask for huesos de tuétano (marrow bones) and you will get bone-in shanks. The rear shank is called the chambarete de pata. In some parts of the country, the upper part of the shank is called the chamorro, but this term is more frequently applied to pork. The hoof is called the pata. A bony cut at the back of the leg joint is called the copete, used for stock.
Entrecot: Rib (Roast, broil or pan-fry)
This is directly behind the chuck, and is sometimes called rosbif in Mexico. Bone-in rib roast (standing rib roast) is cut from the upper part of the rib section, though this will most likely have to be specially ordered as trozo de rosbif or costillar. Rib eye steaks – also called rib eye in Mexico – and boneless rib roasts, are cut from the lower part. Rib eye steaks can usually be found already cut as such in supermarkets. Other rib steaks are called costillas chuletas. The lowermost part of the rib yields part of the agujas cortas (short ribs), another common supermarket offering.
Agujas: Short Plate (Braise or stew)
Under the rib cut, the short plate has the lower short ribs, also called agujas cortas. (There is a cut of chuck steak, used for grilling, that is called “aguja” in parts of Northern Mexico and, though the name is the same, one look tells that this is definitely not a short rib.) Although the entire cut goes by this name, the lower part of it is the skirt steak, or arrachera. This is sometimes mistakenly called flank steak, because it does run along the flank, but the skirt steak is the diaphragm muscle. It is on the tough side, but can be marinated and grilled, and is the cut of choice for fajitas. Confusingly, the literal translation of “skirt” is “falda” which is the name for flank steak. However, the best fajitas are made from arrachera, not falda.
Filete: Short Loin (Roast, broil or pan-fry)
Located behind the rib section, this is usually the tenderest cut of beef. From it comes the filete (filet mignon), also called tenderloin in English and solomillo in Spanish. Tenderloin steak pounded to a very thin 1/8 inch is called sábana, and used to prepare the common restaurant dish Steak Tampiqueña. Puntas de filete are beef tips. This cut also yields the T-bone steaks (the same in both languages), a cut commonly found in Mexican supermarkets, as well as porterhouse steak, called chuleta de dos lomos. Tenderloin (filet mignon) can be cut from either of these. The lowest part of this cut is mostly bone and sold as retazo con hueso (soup bones.)
Falda: Flank (Braise or stew)
The flank is located under the filet, along the sides of the beef. It is a cut of meat that benefits greatly from marinating. It can be used for fajitas, although arrachera is preferred. North of the border, it is used for London broil, but in Mexico it is the cut of choice for carne deshebrada (shredded meat) used to make the beef salad called salpicón, and in any number of cornmeal-based snack foods, such as taquitos and chalupas. The fatty piece under the falda is the panza or pancita, sometimes used to make a rather fatty stew called mole de panza. Between the falda and the lower rump is the suadero, not usually found on charts and generally only cut to make tacos de suadero, most often found in Mexico City.
Aguayón: Sirloin (Broil, pan-fry or, for the tip, braise)
The section of beef behind both the short loin and the flank, the sirloin yields steaks, both boneless and bone-in. A sirloin steak will often go by the same name in Mexico, especially in the supermarkets, but may also be called a chuleta de aguayón or a chuleta de aguayón solomillo. The lower portion of the sirloin, called the sirloin tip, is used for tip steaks or tip roast, but this is not a common cut in Mexico, and for a sirloin tip roast, order aguayón en trozo.
Tapa: Round (Braise or stew)
Although the entire cut is referred to as the tapa, this term is also used for the top of the cut, source of rump roast. The middle section is called the cuete, which yields bottom round roast and eye of round. Cuete is one of the few cuts cooked as a whole roast in Mexico. Many foreigners find it not marbled enough to make a good pot roast, but Mexican cooks make incisions in the meat and insert pieces of bacon, and sometimes also serrano ham. The lower part of this cut is called the bola, and less frequently empuje, which yields tip roast and tip steaks. The bola is also the source of the cut called churrasco in Mexico, although the same name is used in other Latin American countries for other cuts. The round is also the source of cuts labeled carne para asar (meat for grilling) and pulpa (boneless meat.)
Swiss Retailer Gets Stiffed as Hand Sanitizer Seized at Italian Border
A Swiss retailer is crying foul after a truckload of hand sanitizer it had ordered was commandeered by Italian customs officers.
The shipment of disinfectant gel, purchased by Victory Switzerland GmbH for 32,000 euros ($34,800), was stopped by officials on March 30, according to Daniel Gerber, the company’s managing director.
“I am not aware of any compensation for us,” Gerber said.
Italy confirmed the seizure in an April 3 statement, saying officials were authorized to confiscate individual protection devices and sanitary equipment considered essential in the coronavirus pandemic.
The capture of the Swiss-bound cargo is just the latest example of countries moving to secure medical supplies, sanitary items and essential goods for their own citizens amid the global pandemic.
U.S. President Donald Trump slammed 3M Co. for shipping respirator masks to countries including Canada after he had invoked the Defense Production Act to ban the export of supplies to fight the virus. On Monday, he said he had reached a deal with 3M to provide an additional 55.5 million mask to U.S. health-care workers.
Other countries including Kazakhstan and Vietnam have started hoarding some food exports.
Gerber said he tried to contact Germany-based Beauty Service International GmbH, from which it ordered the hand-gel, to get its money back but has yet to hear from them. Beauty Service didn’t respond to an email seeking comment.
A spokeswoman for Switzerland’s State Secretariat for Economic Affairs said it’s aware of the case and is in contact with authorities in Italy. The SECO isn’t aware of similar cases at the Italian border, she said.
Victory Switzerland’s Gerber said the company also had a shipment of more than 300,000 face masks halted at the Swiss-German border about two weeks ago, which was released after a couple of days.
Hundreds Of Illegal Pork Tamales ‘Seized And Destroyed’ At LAX
LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) &mdash Customs agents at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) seized hundreds of tamales found inside the luggage of a passenger arriving from Mexico earlier this month, authorities said Wednesday.
The 450 prohibited pork meat tamales were discovered by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agriculture specialists working at the airport on Nov. 2, according to CBP officials.
Authorities say the unidentified passenger marked “Yes” to bringing in food on a customs declaration, but when asked whether the food contained any pork meat products, the passenger gave a “negative verbal declaration”.
Upon further inspection, CBP agriculture specialists found the pork meat tamales wrapped in plastic bags, officials said.
The pork meat tamales, authorities say, were “seized and destroyed under CBP supervision.”
&ldquoAlthough tamales are a popular holiday tradition, foreign meat products can carry serious animal diseases from countries affected by outbreaks of Avian Influenza, Mad Cow and Swine Fever,” said Anne Maricich, CBP Acting Director of Field Operations in Los Angeles. &ldquoEvery day CBP agriculture specialists prevent the intentional and unintentional introduction of harmful pests and foreign animal diseases into the U.S.&rdquo
The passenger was assessed a $1,000 civil penalty for commercial activity with the intent to distribute.