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Massachusetts Democrats call for 100 percent fentanyl screening of international mail from 'high-risk' nations

Massachusetts Democrats call for 100 percent fentanyl screening of international mail from 'high-risk' nations
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Sen. Ed MarkeyEd MarkeyUS national security policy in the 117th Congress and a new administration OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Biden eyes new leadership at troubled public lands agency | House progressives tout their growing numbers in the chamber at climate rally | Trump administration pushes for rollback of Arctic offshore drilling regulations House progressives tout their growing numbers in the chamber at climate rally MORE (D-Mass.) and Rep. Katherine ClarkKatherine Marlea ClarkFive House Democrats who could join Biden Cabinet House Democrats pick Aguilar as No. 6 leader in next Congress Nominated for another Speaker term, Pelosi says it's her last MORE (D-Mass.), the sixth-ranking Democrat in the House, on Tuesday introduced legislation requiring 100 percent screening of international mail and cargo from “high-risk countries” for fentanyl and other synthetic opioids.

The Massachusetts Democrats’ legislation would screen for the synthetic drug using automated, nonintrusive technology, according to a statement from Markey’s office.

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Federal officials are currently only able to screen a “tiny fraction” of inbound international mail and express cargo for the drug, which is shipped primarily from China.

“After 9/11, when we lost 3,000 lives, Congress passed my law to require 100 percent cargo screening, in order to prevent another tragedy. But now we’re seeing ten times that number die from fentanyl each year,” Markey said in a statement.

“The technology that will allow us to automatically and non-intrusively detect fentanyl in the mail is on the horizon. We need to complete research and development and then deploy it. Far too many lives are at stake for a less ambitious response,” he added.

“If we are going to stop the suffering, we need to prevent fentanyl from entering the country by targeting the most common distribution channel, the U.S. Postal Service,” Clark said, noting the drug is present in nearly 90 percent of Bay State overdose deaths.

“This bill will provide the USPS the support and technology they need to screen packages and hopefully end the flow of foreign fentanyl that is killing tens of thousands of Americans every year,” she added.