Invasive insects and plant diseases thrive after 9/11 

click to enlarge AP file photo - AP FILE PHOTO
  • AP file photo
  • AP file photo

WHAT: In the years after 9/11, authorities were so focused on stopping additional terrorist attacks that they ignored a pest invasion that threatened the nation’s food supply quality, an AP investigation discovered.

HOW: Hundreds of agricultural agents who stopped invasive species at the borders were reassigned to anti-terrorism duties in the new Homeland Security Department — costing billions of dollars in crop damage and eradication expenses.

WHY IT’S OUTRAGEOUS: Every American consumer has been affected by higher grocery prices, substandard produce and the risk of environmental damage from chemicals needed to combat the pests.

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