New York State In-depth

Umbilical Cords are Discovered by Agriculture Specialists in baggage

Tuesday, August 2, U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) Agriculture Specialists discovered an umbilical cord of a human in the luggage of a traveler at Louis Armstrong International Airport.

The passenger was from Honduras and landed on Spirit Flight 1439. He was referred to a second inspection. When they inspected their luggage, CBP Agriculture Specialists discovered the human umbilical cord. CBP Agriculture Specialists from Houston contacted the Center for Disease Control (CDC). They advised that the umbilical as well as a medical wristband that were commingled with them could be either removed or kept. The claim was that the item belonged to a relative. The items were then taken away and incinerated.

It was not the first time such an unusual item being discovered. On the 28th of June, a traveler on the same flight to Honduras was sent to a second examination. An item was found within the middle of the T-shirts, which was wrapped in cellophane. Further examination of the t-shirts revealed a small, squishy bag that contained clothing, documents and a pregnancy test that was positive and an unidentified tissue sample. The passenger was questioned about the items and initially was unsure the contents, but finally identifying them as umbilical cords from a person and positive pregnancy test taken by an unrelated relative.


“With the plethora of people who visit our ports every day our agents are bound to come across some oddities,” said Mark Choina acting Area Port Director of New Orleans. “However two umbilical cords, one month apart, coming from the same nation is a unique event. This incident highlights how crucial it is to determine what’s inside your bag, and whether you are able to legally import it legally.

The CDC requires a permit or certification for certain biological materials imported into the U.S. Learn what you need to know if you require an import permit.

On a typical Day in the fiscal year 2021, CBP discovered 264 pests at U.S. ports of entry and 2,548 materials to be quarantined: plants meat, animal byproducts, and soil.

Comments are closed.