Agents destroy brooms carrying harmful fungus

HONOLULU (AP) - Federal authorities have destroyed imported brooms found to be carrying a harmful fungus.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports U.S. Customs and Border Protection agriculture specialists found the fungus Aug. 9 on a shipment of "native brooms" from the Philippines.

The handicrafts were made from a species of palm.

Signs of plant disease prompted the agriculture specialists to seal the container for further inspection. The U.S. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service identified the fungus as a type of Guignardia and said it would be harmful to plants.

The shipment was destroyed by steam sterilization.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.