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Agriculture Secretary Alerts Consumers About National
Recall of Scented Pine Cones from India

For Immediate Release: December 17, 2003


Hope Gruzlovic




Agriculture Secretary Charles M. Kuperus today urged consumers who purchased scented pine cones originating in India to return them to the point of purchase as they may contain wood-boring beetles that are harmful to pine trees.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture issued a national recall of scented pine cones sold in Target, Wal-Mart, JoAnn Fabrics, Lowe’s, Dollar Tree, Safeway, Frank’s Nursery and K-mart stores nationwide. The pine cones may have been sold individually or as part of potpourri.

Federal and state inspectors recently found infested pine cones in stores in nine states, including three Target stores in New Jersey. Those stores are located in Deptford, Gloucester County; Bound Brook, Somerset County, and Middletown, Monmouth County.

“While it’s uncertain how these beetles would impact our native pines, we don’t want to take any chances,” said Secretary Kuperus. “We are asking the public to help protect New Jersey’s forested areas by complying with this important recall.”

Two types of beetles have been discovered: chlorophorus strobilicola, a pest native to India, and an unidentified species of genus cydia. These pests, which feed on pine cones and lower seed production, had never before been detected in the United States.

Store managers and consumers concerned about possible infestation should check for exit holes in the cone, a sawdust-like material called frass or egg sacs in the crevices between the scales of the pine cones.

If consumers cannot return the product to the store where it was purchased, they should freeze it or double bag it, tie it securely and dispose of it in the trash. Frozen products should remain in the freezer for a minimum of two days to ensure the pests are killed.

Inspectors from the New Jersey Department of Agriculture’s Plant Industry Division continue to visit stores statewide to ensure store managers are aware of the recall and are pulling the product from their shelves.

The UPC numbers for the affected products are:
009134052930, 024709122192, 071716018702, 076001708344, 076001708337, 076001708269, 076001708245, 076001708252, 076001707415, 076001707408, 076001707422, 076001708306, 076001708320, 076001708559, 076001708542, 076001708560, 076001708566, 643727307450, 721366827680, 750197869675, and 826214004241.

Photos: Beetle | Label | Package | Larvae