Crop Threat

USDA says it has destroyed infected geranium imports threatening crops

The US Department of Agriculture says a tropical bacteria that threatened US crops has been eradicated by destroying infected geraniums in 41 states. The pathogen  can't harm humans. But it is considered so hazardous that after the September eleventh terrorist attacks it was placed on the government's list of ten substances likely to be used in an agricultural bioterror attack. The soil-borne microbe kills tomatoes, potatoes and 46 other kinds of vegetables and flowers. At last count, the USDA had destroyed more than two million potentially infected flowers seized from greenhouses in 41 states, including Ohio. Federal court records show that the hunt for infected geraniums went through Cleveland and Columbus in late February.