By Jim Bloch
What were they thinking?
Customs officials confiscated a human brain from an international mail truck following a search of the vehicle at the Centralized Examination Station in Marysville.
The seizure occurred on Valentine’s Day, according to a Feb. 19 press release from U.S. Customs and Border Protection/Port Huron.
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Officers stopped the truck after it had crossed the Blue Water Bridge and referred it to Marysville for further inspection.
The mail truck’s manifest listed the brain as an “Antique Teaching Specimen.”
“Upon opening the shipment, CBP officers found the package to contain a human brain specimen inside of a clear glass mason jar without any paperwork or documentation in support of its lawful entry into the United States,” according to the release.
The brain was on its way from Toronto to Kenosha, Wisconsin.
“Individuals looking to import shipments such as this, need to remember that the Center for Disease Control and Prevention has a strict Import Permit Program that must be adhered to,” said Area Port Director Michael Fox in the release. “This is just another great example of just one of the many things CBP officers do to protect our nation on a daily basis.”
The laws governing the movement of body parts across international borders are designed to eliminate any risk of infection and are contained in the Code of Federal Regulations, Title 42, Part 71.42, which states “that a person may not import into the United States any infectious biological agent, infectious substance or vector unless … (i)t is accompanied by a permit issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).”
Agricultural specialists of CBP in Port Huron have been in touch with CDC officials to determine the fate of the brain.