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Re: Amazon (well, sorta, noxious weeds actually)

The following news story is currently active.  Makes you wonder why they
would allow any new plants in at all:

"New noxious weed has USDA scrambling

Federal agriculture officials are scrambling to recover a noxious weed
banned by the government that may have found its way to 35 states.

Home Depot received the weed in a shipment of exotic reeds from Holland and
sold it as a pond plant. Agriculture inspectors have recovered many plants
from gardeners but fear they can't trace them all.

"We're hoping to get as many of them out of circulation as possible," said
Randy Westbrooks, coordinator of the U.S. Agriculture Department's noxious
weed program. "Chances are most of them will die, but some will live and we
will have another invasive species." 

Known as the bur reed, or Sparganium erectum, the weed can choke waterways
and interfere with recreation in shallow waters without its natural
predators. The 6-foot-long, green reed has a small yellow flower that
contains a burlike fruit.

Federal plant inspectors inadvertently allowed about 4,200 bur reed plants
into the country in the shipment from Holland in May, Westbrooks said. The
plant was not known to exist in the United States before the shipment

"You can say our folks on this side were kind of lulled into this. They
didn't look at all the paperwork," Westbrooks said.

Inspectors plan to scrutinize imported plants more closely and have asked
the Netherlands to stop any further shipments of the unwanted weed, he said.

Jerry Shields, a spokesman for Atlanta-based Home Depot, said the chain was
cooperating with inspectors to recover the plants.

David Reeves, the Agriculture Department official who issued the alert,
estimated that the plants have reached 35 states. No list was available."