450 Pork Tamales Deemed Illegal and Seized From Passenger at LAX

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The U.S. Customs and Border Protection is on a tamale witch-hunt. On November 2, a passenger who arrived at the Los Angeles International Airport had 450 illegal pork tamales seized, according to LA Times.

To be fair, the passenger did lie about having pork meat products, which can carry diseases. “Although tamales are a popular holiday tradition, foreign meat products can carry serious animal diseases from countries affected by outbreaks of Avian Influenza, Mad Cow and Swine Fever,” said Anne Maricich, CBP Acting Director of Field Operations in L.A, in a press release. “Every day CBP agriculture specialists prevent the intentional and unintentional introduction of harmful pests and foreign animal diseases into the U.S.”

From a purely legal and medical standpoint, yes, she’s right. But from a culinary perspective, tamales are too good to go to waste. The passenger was fined $1,000 and the 450 tamales were destroyed. At the very least, the passenger should have gotten a chance to see how many of these tamales he or she could eat.