Sending seeds to the BX

Lee Poulsen
Wed, 25 Feb 2009 15:13:21 PST

Jim McKenney wrote:
> Uli wrote: What on earth is going on in the US? I try to follow the
> discussions
> (more or less) but reading the e-mails so full of abbreviations I do not
> know nor understand (what is a MOU for example)"
> Don't feel bad, Uli, this native speaker of English, who read this thread
> backwards (i.e. newest posts first then working backwards) was also
> confused. 
> Because this forum is read by an international following, we need to be
> careful about using abbreviations which are not likely to be recognized
> outside of certain fields of endeavor. 

I apologize because I knew I was doing this while I was doing it. 
Because I don't always have much time to write, I didn't want to spend a 
lot of explanation time. However, I tried to use the fully spelled out 
words first, but I didn't then put the acronym in parentheses 
immediately after, as is often the custom.
Even doing that, I felt bad because the equivalent organization or 
agency in other countries often has a different name and hence a 
different acronym, even if it uses the same language (e.g., APHIS in the 
U.S. is AQIS in Australia I believe).

In any case, I've become so concerned that in the effort to solve real 
problems, especially preventing introduction of pests or diseases, the 
solution here in the U.S. seems to be quickly headed in a direction 
where, as Uli intimated, it may effectively end the heretofore wonderful 
trading (and purchasing) of seeds and bulbs with other crazy hobbyists 
all over the world. And since as recently as 10 years ago, it was 
incredibly simpler than it is now, many people who have experienced the 
way it was done before find the current and still evolving procedures 
and requirements increasingly frustrating (as Uli said). I think it's 
causing more and more people to just throw in towel (for non-native 
English speakers, this means: to give up). If this continues, it will 
lead to only the wealthy, businesses, and researchers/professional 
botanists being the only ones who get to try out or sell new species of 
plants. I think that would be a very sad development.

So I'm sorry that I let my frustration cause my emails to become much 
less comprehensible.

I hope people like Bill and others can take these concerns to those who 
can act on them, so that these officials won't end up effectively 
destroying the (good IMO*) situation that used to exist.

--Lee Poulsen
Pasadena, California, USDA Zone 10a

*IMO = In my opinion

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