Russian Agency Warns of Threat From Western Corn Rootworm

A Russian food-safety watchdog issued a warning on Western corn rootworm it says is a threat to enter the country from Ukraine.

The pest, which is endemic in North America, first entered Europe on U.S. military transport aircraft that landed at a Belgrade airport in 1992, the Rosselkhoznadzor agency said in a statement on its website.

Agency staff have been finding the rootworm in insect traps along the Ukrainian border for several years. The cost of combating the pest and the value of crops it destroys amount to about $1 billion a year in North America, Rosselkhoznadzor said.