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Re: Another Windmill for Tilting?

  • Subject: Re: Another Windmill for Tilting?
  • From: Theodore Held <oppenhauser2001@gmail.com>
  • Date: Tue, 29 Jan 2013 13:47:15 -0500

Oh, dear, this sounds like a windmill immune to tilting.

1.        How much American agriculture is really protected by this
requirement, particularly as it relates to exchanges of small
quantities of bulbs and tubers between hobbyists?   Is anyone aware of
any studies?

My guess (and it's only a guess) is that there are none. Certainly
American plants have been adversely affected over the years by
imported diseases. But whether any have been short-circuited by a
phytosanitary certificate is highly dubious. Look, if the certificate
is issued by the exporting country, what interest is it for them to do
a very good job? Further, how much money would one expect to be
allocated by an exporting country to do a good job even if it were
somehow in their interest to do so to save American agriculture? The
overwhelming interest here would be for America to do the inspection.
But even then, I wonder how effective such an effort would be. Keep in
mind that they wouldn't be looking for any particular thing. Just some
disease that might not even be visible by normal inspection
techniques. And the effect of the particular disease might not be
manifest in the exporting country because of the ecosystem there being
attuned to the critters or microbes. It always seems like the diseases
get out of hand only after they adjust to the ecology of the importing
country.

 2.       Is this a windmill worth tilting at?

I would not attempt it. Way too big for me. Besides, I've tilted at a
few smaller windmills in my day and it's dismaying how obtuse
bureaucrats can be.

Ted Held.

On Sun, Jan 27, 2013 at 9:19 AM, DAVID LEEDY <djleedy@sbcglobal.net> wrote:
> Condition #3 on my Permit to Import Plants:  "A phytosanitary certificate
> must accompany all propagative material imported under this permit."
>
>
>
> I am corresponding with an individual in the UK growing plants in his back
> yard as I am doing here.  I would like to obtain two or three bulbs of one
> of the plants he is growing (an Arum).  The cost and other requirements of
> the authorities in the UK are so burdensome as to prohibit the type of
> exchange we would like to make.
>
>
>
> He states:  "If you have tangled with Plant Health in the UK you will
> understand why I don't want to get wrapped up in it. Last time I worked with
> the system it would only accept applications for imports through the online
> system, and the online system would only accept shipments of fruit and
> vegetables in container loads. The telephone helpline advised me to lie on
> my application! I."
>
>
>
> Today, I received a letter from Michael Watson, Acting Executive Director of
> APHIS (USDA), in response to my inquiry, stating:
>
>
>
> “…there is no exception to the regulatory requirement for a phytosanitary
> certificate when importing small quantities of bulbs or tubers.  Bulbs and
> tubers are a more likely pathway for pests and disease.  Accordingly, we
> require that the importer obtain a phytosanitary certificate issued by the
> national plant health authorities of the country of export.   These
> certificates provide assurance that the plant or plant product has been
> inspected and found free of plant pests and diseases prior to its entry into
> the United States.  While we understand that obtaining a phytosanitary
> certificate may be inconvenient and can add to the cost of doing business,
> we assure you that this requirement is necessary to protect American
> agriculture.”
>
>
>
> I really have two questions:
>
>
>
> 1.        How much American agriculture is really protected by this
> requirement, particularly as it relates to exchanges of small quantities of
> bulbs and tubers between hobbyists?   Is anyone aware of any studies?
>
>
>
> 2.       Is this a windmill worth tilting at?  Believe me, I am 73 years
> old, retired, and not above taking up lost causes and I have even won some
> of these.
>
>
>
> Please pass this on to anyone who might be able to contribute an idea or
> suggestion.
>
>
>
> David Leedy
>
> djleedy@sbcglobal.net
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> Aroid-L mailing list
> Aroid-L@www.gizmoworks.com
> http://www.gizmoworks.com/mailman/listinfo/aroid-l
>
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