human brain border

Human brain from Toronto seized by U.S. border officials

The brave officers of U.S. Customs and Border Protection are used to protecting Americans against such Canadian threats as fruit, soil samples and wads of cash over $10,000 (in addition to actual threats like weapons and drugs) — but organs in jars? Those are press release worthy.

America's Department of Homeland Security announced on Wednesday afternoon that border officers had seized a human brain from the mail at Blue Water Bridge in Port Huron, Michigan.

The brain, shipped from Toronto, was found on Valentine's Day in a package destined for Kenosha, Wisconsin.

"On February 14, CBP officers assigned to the Area Port of Port Huron referred a Canadian mail truck that had just crossed the Blue Water Bridge for an inspection at the Centralized Examination Station," reads a release from the border agency.

"During this routine mail operation, a shipment manifested as an 'Antique Teaching Specimen' was targeted for inspection."

Border officers opened the package to find what they described as "a human brain specimen inside of a clear glass mason jar without any paperwork or documentation in support of its lawful entry into the United States."

It is unclear why the brain was being shipped across the border, but U.S. officials aren't taking any chances.

Agricultural specialists with Customs and Border Protection are consulting the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regarding potential infectious biological agents and "vectors for final disposition of the specimen."

"Individuals looking to import shipments such as this, need to remember that the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention has a strict Import Permit Program that must be adhered to," said Area Port Director Michael Fox in the U.S. federal government agency release.

"This is just another great example of just one of the many things CBP officers do to protect our nation on a daily basis."

Lead photo by

U.S. Customs and Border Protection


Join the conversation Load comments

Latest in City

The Broadview and Gladstone Hotels close in Toronto despite being essential businesses

Ontario confirms 211 new COVID-19 cases and two more deaths

Toronto convenience store worker wonders why Ontario hasn't shut down the lottery

Staff raise concerns about ServiceOntario location still open during COVID-19 crisis

Ontario limits size of social gatherings to a maximum of 5 people

Ontario reports more than a thousand total confirmed cases of COVID-19

Ontario increases fines for price gouging to $100k and a year in jail

Husband and wife are offering free appliance repair service in Toronto during COVID-19