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Monday, August 09, 2004

Lemon threat

No word if they made lemonade afterwords....
Yahoo! News - Lemon Cargo Wasted After False Security Tip
Five shipping containers of lemons rotted on a ship held off New York all week after officials received a false tip amid heightened security that the cargo might be biologically contaminated, the U.S. Coast Guard said on Friday.

The Coast Guard said in a statement that it boarded the container ship CSAV Rio Puelo on Saturday after being told by the U.S. Department of Agriculture of an "unconfirmed anonymous report" that one container of lemons had an "unknown harmful biological substance."

Officials tested the cargo for biological hazards, but none was found, the U.S. Coast Guard said.

It was not immediately known how many pounds of lemons were spoiled, but CSAVGroup, the shipping container firm that owns the ship, said the containers can hold up hold up to 40,000 pounds (18 tons) of produce apiece. They declined to say how much money had been lost and whether insurance would pick up the cost.
"The lemons will be destroyed because they are no good after sitting at sea for a week," Coast Guard spokesman Jim McGranachan said.

The Marshall Islands-flagged ship, which was delivering the lemons from South America, was escorted from an anchorage off New York into the neighboring port of Newark, New Jersey on Friday, the spokesman said.

With U.S. government warnings of a possible attack by Islamic militants in the run up to the November presidential election and new maritime security measures that came into force last month, officials are taking extra precautions.


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