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Re: overseas shipping

Michelle -- Thanks very much for adding this important information and perspective, and thanks, too, for your individual effort to solve this problem. It's bad news when bureaucracies are involved. I'll contact you off-list for copies. -- Griff

----- Original Message ----- From: "Michhle BERSILLON" <auxiris5@orange.fr>
To: <iris@hort.net>
Sent: Friday, March 14, 2008 7:44 AM
Subject: [iris] overseas shipping

Dear friends;

I would like to briefly join the discussion dealing with overseas
shipping so as to clarify several points that still seem to be quite
obscure.  First of all, what you need to know is that the brutal
application of restrictions concerning shipments of plants coming from
North America into the European Union in 2006 apparently came about
because of the arrival in Europe of a shipment of infested plants.  I
say apparently as I have not been able to to track down any
substantial evidence concerning this shipment as to what plants were
concerned, in which country they arrived, from where they were
shipped, the diseases and/or insects with which they were infested or
who inspected them.  I have spent the better part of two yearson my
own, due to lack of official support from either the SFIB (Sociiti
Frangaise des Iris et Bulbeuses) or the American Iris Societytrying
to track down information about these problems on both sides of the

After months of e-mailing various people, both at the Ministry of
Agriculture here in France and at the European Commission level, I
learned that the European directive, which is at the base of the
restrictions on shipments of plants arriving from outside the European
Union (2000/29/EC of 8 May 2000 ), was published in the year 2000 and
thus is really nothing new in itself; it is its application which is
recent.  I possess complete copies of this directive in both English
and French and will be delighted to send them to anyone who contacts
me and requests a copy.  However, it does surprise me considerably
that this important information hasnt been printed in the AIS
Bulletin, as I sent a copy to Aitken last year.  I also possess a copy
of the article Clive Russell wrote on the subject, which was published
in the British Iris Societys periodal publication (BIS Newsletter,
though I dont have the publication date).  Once again, Ill be more
than happy to send copies of this to anyone who is interested.

There remains a rather complicated problem in the United States, which
has to do with the refusal of agricultural inspectors in some states
to apply the new inspection regulations, thus making it impossible for
iris growers who reside in those states to export their plants to
Europe.  I have tried (in vain) to obtain information regarding this
situation from the USDA.

If indeed there is an interested individual who belongs to the AIS (or
a specific committee within the association) and who could at least be
mandated by the AIS board to research these difficult issues--
regardless of the lack of monetary interest that the commerce of iris
represents--perhaps their requests for information will carry a bit
more weight.

Regards,  Michele Bersillon

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