[BULBS-L] Importing Bulbs and Seeds

meneice@att.net meneice@att.net
Mon, 26 Jan 2009 14:28:08 PST
To: WDA and the rest of PBS

I'm sure you are "right on", but lest we forget, do make an occasional noise
to prick our consciences.
	Shirley Meneice

-----Original Message-----
From: pbs-bounces@lists.ibiblio.org [mailto:pbs-bounces@lists.ibiblio.org]
On Behalf Of WDA
Sent: Sunday, January 25, 2009 6:18 PM
To: Pacific Bulb Society
Subject: Re: [pbs] [BULBS-L] Importing Bulbs and Seeds

DHS inspects cut flowers, fruits and vegetables, generally admissible cargo.
It's true that 75% of PPQ went to DHS and as I mentioned before they are
more proactive when they catch singular violators. They have also begun
holding the importer responsible for the condition of imports. I work for
Propagative plant material is inspected at a plant inspection station by PPQ

I'm not going to get into a  discussion about what you get away with because
the government is overburdened with trying to catch the bad guys. 
I was at the Lost Gardens of Heligan, a meeting at ground zero about
Phytophthoria kernovii- at the end of the tour of the grounds the
representative from UK's plant protection organization cautioned everyone
about becoming vectors by not being responsible  of foot ware because they
probably have live spores on their clothing. If they were off to another
garden they could possibly spread the spores and infect new gardens.
The representative from Australia  without hesitation took off her boots and
threw them in the rubbish bin. Later she said that she did not want to be
known in Australia as the person who brought P.k. to Australia. Better safe
than sorry was her attitude.I took photos of  a Rhododendron in the garden
that was over 100 years old. Largest I'd ever see well over 20 feet tall and
150 feet wide. It was infested with P.k. They tried to save it. It was later
ground up and incinerated. As the old beech trees and acers begin to die.
How did the pathogen get there? We don't know. What we do know is that there
are a lot of hosts for just that one disease. It only takes the right plant
in the right place to begin an epidemic. Question is what steps will you go
to to make sure that your not remembered as the person who brought a new
plant pest into your neighborhood?

I deal with people all the time who want special consideration and
exceptions  to import prohibited plant material into the USA because they
have their own reason to posses stuff that the US prohibits. People brag
about what plant material they smuggle into the US all the time. Because
it's not like drugs or guns it can't hurt anybody. As if they would never be
held accountable for introducing  some exotic plant pest into the USA- you
know stuff like med fly, bamboo rust, hosta virus X,amaryllis fly,
phytophthorias, emerald ash borers, citrus long horn beetles, Asian gypsy
moth and the list continues. 

The belief that US citizens have the right to bring anything into the
country without checks and precautions keeps people like me employed
cleaning up the environmental messes both from big businesses and individual
importers. The rice panicle mite in Texas is a good example of Scientists
thinking they knew everything and managed to introduce a rice pest with
Mexican Paddy rice sown into the Texas rice belt. Or the collectors that
went and gathered boxwood cutting in Greece and somehow managed to introduce
a new boxwood rust into Longwood Gardens.

So you go and do what you believe is your right to do. There are plenty of
people who take a more responsible approach to the importation of foreign
plant material who will work to clean up those messes and try to make the
system work better. God knows that people thought they were doing the right
thing with Kudsu.

It is rather like the person who throws a cigarette butt on the ground when
they are done with it. I guess they just believe that someone will pick it
up eventually.

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