Brazil on pest alert for World Cup
Brazil's National Plant Defense Association (ANDEF) has put the country on alert to prevent the entry of new pests during the World Cup.
A study by ANDEF biologist Regina Sugayama found there were 350 foreign pest species found in the countries of participating teams, which could threaten Brazil's agriculture and ecosystems through the movement of tourists during the tournament.
ANDEF state regulations manager Luis Carlos Ribeiro spoke on Rádio Nacional de Brasília about the matter, highlighting tourists would be checked at airports and land crossings and prevented from carrying animal or plant material without the proper documentation.
"Brazil is a continental country and is bordered by dry and humid parts. Therefore it is necessary to strengthen protection in relation to what goes in and out of our territory," Ribeiro was quoted as saying.
"By having a tropical climate, it is possible to produce almost every crop on Brazilian soil and this diversity is an opening for insects, mites, fungi and viruses to establish themselves in our crops, causing daamges to growers and enormous impacts for food production."
To highlight this concern, Riberio mentioned there were around 40 pests that entered China and established themselves within the country's territory during the Beijing Olympics in 2008.
"It is also worth mentioning that the next Olympics will be hosted in the city of Rio de Janeiro in 2016, and this issue will remain relevant and will arouse concern for the entire productive sector."