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Topics: Christmas

Sunday, 26 December 2004

image for Beatle Warning Issued for Artificial Christmas Trees
Beatle Infested Trees

Beatle Warning Issued for Artificial Christmas Trees

Last Updated Dec 24 2004 10:35 AM EST
OTTAWA: The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has issued a nationwide recall for an artificial Christmas tree made in China, over concerns that the real-bark trunks might contain an invasive beatle. This bothersome insect can disrupt a nation and still have influence 40 years later.

The trees in question contain natural wood and weren't properly treated to kill the Brown Fir Long-haired beatle, according to the agency. The insects may cause mass hysteria in teenage females and flashbacks in females between the ages of 44 and 55. People other than these two age groups will dismiss the insect invasion as a passing fad, according to the recall notice.

CFIA wants people who bought certain trees made by Polytree Hong Kong Co. Ltd. this year to return them to the store after the holidays. The models affected are the Six-foot Dakota Alpine and two models of the Cascade Pre-lit Alpine. The full purchase price will be refunded for any trees returned after the holidays. Please see the attached photograph for visual insect identification.

"The presence of live insects is unlikely, however the threat of the beatle's potential spread lies in improper disposal of the trees," CFIA said in a release. CFIA has contacted retailers known to distribute the trees. However, the trees are also available on the internet. The CFIA report mentions, "It's going to be a real challenge to get all the trees back but we are hoping that people will follow through and return the trees rather than keeping them or tossing them out with the trash."

U.S. authorities discovered the beatle in some of the artificial Christmas trees and issued a recall of the trees last week. "We haven't received any of the trees yet and we didn't expect any before December 26," said Edward Sullivan, spokesman for the US agency responsible. "Sunday should be a really big show."

The Brown Fir Long-haired beatle has not yet been found in Canada but officials expect an invasion within the next year. Two of the four insects are already deceased.

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