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Sunday 24 March 2019
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Letters to the Editor

Ministry job to stop honey smuggling

THE EDITOR: Open letter to the Minister of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries.

I refer to the smuggling of honey into Trinidad from Venezuela. The importation of honey is prohibited by law, and having done a little investigative work, I discovered that the seizure and destruction of honey lie within the purview of your ministry, namely the Plant Quarantine Unit.

The entire country seems to be aware of this situation, especially those passengers whose honey is seized without a second thought at the airport and other points of entry.

Yet, when posed a question about the illegal importation of honey, among other issues raised, you responded that “numerous reports have been made to the law enforcement agencies.”

Mr Minister, where is the Plant Quarantine Unit in all of this? Why burden the police with this when the ministry has officers to handle this?

There is supposed to be Customs and Excise, Immigration, Port Health and Plant Quarantine officers at every port of entry.

We are experiencing a shortage of honey in our country and apiary owners are pleading for the rejuvenation our once thriving and world renowned honey.

Mr Minister, the responsibility falls in your lap. Please get the Plant Quarantine officers on our borders to do what they are paid to do – border control.

MARJORIE BEEPATH-SINGH, Chaguanas

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