Sunday, August 12, 2007

My Cereal was “Seized and Destroyed” by the Australian Government

My favorite cereal is Banana Nut Crunch, and last spring when I stopped being able to find it in supermarkets, I did some investigating and found they were discontinuing the product in California. I panicked and immediately ordered a case of Banana Nut Crunch from (pack of 8). Soon I left for Australia, and most of the boxes remained at home in Boston.

Mom loves to send packages. I received her first one (since being in Australia) last week, and inside was this note:

"The Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS) has determined that items addressed to you, send by mail from The United States, were imported or introduced into Australia in contravention of the Quarantine Act 1908 and, in the Authorized Quarantine Officer’s opinion, the items are likely to introduce exotic pests or diseases into Australia.

“This is a notice to inform you that the items, 2 x pkt of Banana Nut Crunch with dried banana, will be seized and destroyed. Where possible, AQIS offers clients the opportunity to have items treated to remove quarantine risks. However, due to the specific risks presented by the items sent to you, treatment is not possible.”

The most amazing part is that the package (with the remaining items) was completely unopened when I received it, with no visible signs of tampering. Keep in mind my mother taped every edge of the box shut, wrapped the box with brown paper bags from Whole Foods, taped those shut, and then taped the address labels on top of that. To inspect the package and seize the BNC without any sign of disturbance the Authorized Quarantine Officer must have employed David Blaine street magic because that was freaking impossible. Amazing.

How will they destroy the Banana Nut Crunch? I hope they eat it – don’t let it go to waste! It may be the last of its kind!

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