A U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer shows a human brain found in a Canada post shipment in this handout photo. U.S. border officials say they’ve seized a human brain that was found in a Canada Post shipment originating from Toronto. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency says officers found the brain in a clear glass mason jar during a routine check at the crossing between Sarnia, Ont., and Port Huron, Mich., on Valentine’s Day. (U.S. Customs and Border Protection photo)

‘Nothing surprises us anymore:’ U.S. border officials find brain in package

U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents found the brain packed in a glass mason jar in a Canada Post shipment

Unusual packages turn up at border crossings every now and then, a U.S. border official said Thursday, but it was still strange for officers to find a human brain in a shipment from Toronto last week.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents found the brain packed in a glass mason jar in a Canada Post shipment during a random inspection on Valentine’s Day, CBP spokesman Kris Grogan said.

The brain was packaged with bubble wrap and what appeared to be paper towel, Grogan said, but without any supporting documentation.

The only description along with the package — which originated in Toronto and was headed for Kenosha, Wis. — was that it contained an “antique teaching specimen.”

“It is a very unique case to open up a package with absolutely no documentation or anything and to find out that it’s a brain,” Grogan said in an interview.

“But I will say, nothing surprises us anymore on some of the things that we do find.”

The organ has since been put into quarantine while the agency investigates, Grogan said.

He said the agency can’t comment further until the investigation is complete.

“But there will be a final determination on what takes place with it,” he said.

Body parts must be registered and documented in detail with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention before being sent across the border, Grogan said.

“People need to realize that there’s a lot of documentation that needs to be completed if you want to bring a specimen that has anything to do with the body,” he said, noting specimens like donated organs are frequently sent across the border.

He said a nearby border crossing in Detroit led the nation in handling biological parts.

CBP area port director Michael Fox said in a statement that the brain incident is “just another great example of just one of the many things CBP officers do to protect our nation on a daily basis.”

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

border agency

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Douglas Street closed at Finlayson Street as emergency crews respond to incident

A number of Victoria fire trucks are currently on scene

Canadian seniors isolated with fewer friends, less access to internet

Findings appear in assessment of health and social challenges associated with COVID-19

Mustard Seed Coffee Company launches online ordering, free delivery

Program proceeds assist Greater Victoria residents in need

Sidney opens temporary rest stop for essential delivery drivers

Temporary location will provide drivers space to rest, access restrooms and food options

Look at hospitalizations, not recovery stats for COVID-19, B.C. professor says

Cases in hospital are a definitive count of people who have the novel coronavirus

B.C. First Nations want to launch fight of Trans Mountain pipeline approval

Last month, the Supreme Court of Canada decided not to hear five challenges about the pipeline

N95 masks on the way for Canada after 3M reaches deal with White House

The Trump White House had ordered 3M to stop shipping masks to Canada

COLUMN: The other graph that shows B.C. can beat COVID-19

Is the curve being flattened? data on hospitalizations provides a crucial answer.

B.C. clears more acute hospital beds as COVID-19 case growth slows

Province holding about 40% of beds empty for peak still to come

75-year-old woman rescued from Cowichan Lake

Victim taken to hospital, but expected to recover

Not to become bored the game plan for COVID-19

Board game with an Island map developed by Island family just the remedy for filling time at home

As 500K+ apply for emergency benefit, Trudeau says aid coming for Canadians left behind

Canada Emergency Response Benefit provides $2,000 per month

Most Read