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Air passenger screening

The week's news at a glance.

Rome

The E.U. should scrutinize airplane passengers more carefully to prevent bird flu from spreading, U.N. agriculture officials said this week. Air passengers entering the U.S. have long had to fill out forms listing any agricultural items in their possession and whether they had visited any farms abroad. The E.U. should do the same, U.N. officials said, because people carrying feathers or chicken parts from one country could unwittingly infect birds in another country with avian flu. Most flights aren’t checked for agricultural items at all. When German authorities conducted spot checks at the Frankfurt airport last year, they confiscated 9.5 tons of banned agricultural goods in just three months.

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