hort.net Seasonal photo, (c) 2006 Christopher P. Lindsey, All Rights Reserved: do not copy
articles | gallery of plants | blog | tech blog | plant profiles | patents | mailing lists | top stories | links | shorturl service | tom clothier's archive0
 Navigation
Articles
Gallery of Plants
Blog
Tech Blog
Plant Profiles
Patents
Mailing Lists
    FAQ
    Netiquette
    Search ALL lists
    Search help
    Subscription info
Top Stories
Links
sHORTurl service
Tom Clothier's Archive
 Top Stories
Disease could hit Britain's trees hard

Ten of the best snowdrop cultivars

Plant protein database helps identify plant gene functions

Dendroclimatologists record history through trees

Potato beetle could be thwarted through gene manipulation

Hawaii expands coffee farm quarantine

Study explains flower petal loss

Unauthorized use of a plant doesn't invalidate it's patent

RSS story archive

The banning of seed exchange legislation!

  • Subject: [cg] The banning of seed exchange legislation!
  • From: Skattenbra@aol.com
  • Date: Mon, 25 Mar 2002 19:40:17 EST

USDA Plans Severe Gardening Restrictions

Direct quotes from USDA Action Plan

      "Clean list" - Everything not on government approved list banned.

      Penalties - $1000 for home gardeners, up to $250,000 for
nurseries.
      Interstate movement of seeds - Prohibited without permit and
inspection.

Send objections to the USDA

Write your representative (Sample letter)

What President Bush says

Your help is needed. The USDA is now accepting public
comments on their Draft Action Plan for the Noxious
Weeds Program, which includes the "clean list" or
"white list" proposal. They are now going beyond the
clean list and are stating that they intend to require
permits and inspections for ALL seeds and plants
moving interstate ? this will effectively shut down
many popular seed exchanges like the North American
Rock Garden Society exchange and the Seed Saver=92s
Exchange. These exchanges have been hailed as
important means of preserving biodiversity. How many
home seed savers will be willing to get appropriate
licenses and inspections when they cost a minimum of
$100 (for a nursery stock or seed license here in
California). Penalties of up to $250,000 are proposed
with a minimum fine of $1000 even for home
gardeners. Please link to this page.


Contact Alan.V.Tasker@usda.gov and state you are opposed to the
"clean list" and any permit or inspection requirements for
interstate movement of seeds and plants. State that the Draft
Action Plan for the Noxious Weeds Program is unacceptable must
be halted, additional time for public comment allowed, and no
new restrictions on the free flow of any seeds and plants that are
not listed noxious weeds be put in place.

Send 4 copies of your comments to:

Docket No. 01-034-1
Regulatory Analysis and Development
PPD, APHIS Suite 3C03
4700 River Road, Unit 118
Riverdale, MD 20737-1238

This is necessary so that your e-mails will not simply be deleted.

Last year, the USDA requested comments on its clean list proposal
- they received an overwhelming response - 8 to 1 against, yet
they are ignoring the clear will of the American people. The
government tried to impose a clean list policy three times during
the 1970s, and had to back down each time due to negative
response from biologists. Apparently, "no" is not an acceptable
response.

The public comment period ends March 29th, but it is important to
keep up pressure even after this date, particularly by writing your
representatives.

The USDA is clearly out of touch with the American people. They
just got through the huge furor when they tried to impose "Organic
Rules" which allowed irradiation and toxic sewage sludge use.
They have also instituted new phytosanitary certificate
requirements which they admit are designed to prevent you from
ordering from overseas. Please object to the new phytosanitary
rules in your letter, too.

Write to your representatives and demand that the out-of-control
USDA be reined in.

These proposals fundamentally change the regulations on the importation
and distribution of
plants. Currently, you may import, possess and distribute all plants
except a few known harmful
species that are banned ? a "blacklist" approach in which everything is
permitted except what is
prohibited. The new Clean List (or white list) policy is the opposite ?
everything is
prohibited except what is on a government-approved "clean list" of
species that the
USDA permits. This will effectively ban 99% of the species on the
planet. The clean list or
white list has been called an internet hoax, and the agencies involved
have actually sent out letters
denying they have such plans ? go to their website and read for yourself
what they say:

http://www.aphis.usda.gov/ppq/weeds/

See Weed Action Plan - 4th blue box down on the right.

http://www.aphis.usda.gov/ppq/weeds/weedsjan2002-pub.pdf (Note that this
is a pdf file and
takes a long time to load - you will see a blank page for a while after
clicking here)



THE FOLLOWING ARE DIRECT QUOTES
FROM THE PROPOSAL

Draft Action Plan for the Noxious Weeds Program

Page 5:

Interstate movement:

"2) Issue regulations that require that any plant, plant product,
biological control organism, noxious weed,
article, or means of conveyance imported, entered, to be exported, or
moved in interstate commerce be
accompanied by a permit and a certification of inspection and be subject
to remedial measures necessary
to prevent the spread of plant pests or noxious weeds=85"

NOTE: "Any plant or plant product" will include dried medicinal herbs,
as well as clean seeds.

Page 9:

"RECOMMENDED REGULATORY CHANGES"

"Emergency Action (recommended regulatory change)

The PPA authorizes the Secretary of Agriculture to hold, seize,
quarantine, treat, apply other remedial measures to,
destroy, or otherwise dispose of any plant, plant pest, noxious weed,
biological control organism, plant
product, article, or means of conveyance moving into or through the
United States, or interstate, or moved into
or through the United States, or interstate, that the Secretary has
reason to believe is a plant pest or noxious
weed, is infested with a plant pest or noxious weed, or is in violation
of the PPA. This authority includes action
on the progeny of any plant, biological control organism, plant product,
plant pests, or noxious weed. Further, the
Secretary may use extraordinary emergency action for weeds threatening
plants or plant products, if those
weeds are new to or not known to be widely prevalent in or distributed
within and throughout the United States."

Page 14:

"Civil Penalties (recommended program change)

The PPA authorizes the Secretary of Agriculture to hold, seize,
quarantine, treat, apply other remedial measures to,
destroy, or otherwise dispose of any plant, plant pest, noxious weed,
biological control organism, plant product,
article, or means of conveyance moving into or through the United
States, or interstate, or moved into or through the
United States, or interstate, that the Secretary has reason to believe
is a plant pest or noxious weed, is infested with a
plant pest or noxious weed, or is in violation of the PPA. This
authority includes action on the progeny of any plant,
biological control organism, plant product, plant pests, or noxious
weed. If a plant, plant pest, noxious weed,
biological control organism, plant product, article, or means of
conveyance is in violation of the PPA, the Secretary
may issue civil penalties ranging from $1,000 for an initial violation
by an individual moving
regulated articles not for monetary gain, to $250,000 per violation. The
Safeguarding Report
recognizes that the PPA civil penalty fee structure provides an
effective deterrent against violations of the regulations.
APHIS plans to use our new authority under the PPA to issue civil
penalties for noncompliance
with the regulations."

NOTE: "An individual moving articles not for monetary gain" means home
gardeners.

Page 19:

"Risk Assessment for Imported Nursery Stock (Propagative Material)

Current regulations do not mandate a screening process for the invasive
potential of plants imported for propagation.
Under 7 CFR 319.37, nursery stock is admissible unless it is on a
regulated list. Plants on the regulated lists are
prohibited either because they are Federal noxious weeds or because they
are associated with certain plant diseases or
other plant pests. The Safeguarding Review recommends adopting a
modified "clean list approach"
for propagative material, specifying what is permissible, rather than
listing regulated plants.
Similarly, the draft Invasive Species Management Plan recommends
development of risk analysis and screening
system for evaluating first time intentional introductions of non-native
species before entry is allowed.

The PPA states that the Secretary of Agriculture may prohibit or
restrict the importation, entry,
exportation, or movement in interstate commerce of any plant, plant
product, biological control
organism, noxious weed, article, or means of conveyance to prevent the
introduction into the United States or
dissemination within the United States of a plant pest or noxious weed.
The PPA further provides the
authority for the Secretary of Agriculture to initiate a screening
process to evaluate proposed new
introductions of non-native plants. Risk assessment for propagative
material has two weed-related
components: evaluation of the commodity as a potential weed and
evaluation of the commodity=92s potential to provide
a pathway for weeds."

NOTE: "...specifying what is permissible, rather than listing regulated
plants" means that everything that is not on
the government-approved list will be prohibited. Currently, they list
only what is prohibited - "regulated plants."

Page 20:

"Proposed Strategies to Achieve the Goal:

1. Risk assessment: Use risk assessment processes that follow
international standards to support identification of
weed species to be regulated, provide classification of undesirable
plant species, identify potential
pathways, and determine appropriate regulatory action.

3. Weediness Screening: Explore revision of the nursery stock
regulations (7 CFR 319.37) to require risk
assessment before a commodity is approved for entry."

NOTE: "Weediness Screening" and "risk assessment before a commodity is
approved for entry" means that all
species will be denied entry (import) until the government has
determined that they are approved.



How to Contact Your Members of Congress in Washington, DC









Sample letter to an elected representative:
Please print this out and send it to your representative. E-mailing is
second-best, as a
physical letter carries much more weight. Send a copy to the USDA,
marked "My comments
on the Draft Action Plan for the Noxious Weeds Program."

Secretary of Agriculture Ann Veneman
Jamie L. Whitten Federal Bldg. Rm. 200-A
12th & Jefferson Dr., SW
Washington DC 20250
Phone 202-720-3631, Fax: 720-2166 Email: agsec@usda.gov

and E-mail them a comment objecting to the clean list.

Also be sure to send 4 copies of your comments to:

Docket No. 01-034-1
Regulatory Analysis and Development
PPD, APHIS Suite 3C03
4700 River Road, Unit 118
Riverdale, MD 20737-1238

This is necessary so that your e-mails will not simply be deleted.



Honorable _________________________

As a concerned voter, I am writing object to the USDA Draft Action Plan
for the Noxious Weeds Program, which
will implement a "clean list" and other unwarranted restrictions
controlling the import and movement of plants and
animals in the U.S., allegedly to stop the spread of "invasive species."

I feel that this "clean list" would be a reckless and irresponsible
policy, for the following reasons:

   1.Such a policy requires adequate, scientifically verified methods
of predicting which species would be
      "invasive," yet all scientific attempts at predicting
"invasiveness" have failed.
   2.We already have adequate weed laws. We already know which species
are pests; implementing a
      sweeping, poorly-conceived ban on what will amount to 99% of the
world=92s species will cause more
      problems than it could possibly solve.
   3.Scientific researchers need ready access to the earth=92s biological
resources for new food crops, new
      medicinal plants, new industrial uses. Limiting this access will
place U.S. scientists at a
      disadvantage in the competitive world markets. Limiting our
farmers=92 access to new crops will
      increase our dependence on foreign supplies.
   4.It will result in greater usage of herbicides on our public lands.

   5.It will do nothing to address the fundamental causes of "invasive"
species - disrupted ecosystems.
   6.Small entrepreneurial businesses are responsible for the majority
of all jobs created in the past 20 years, and
      they will bear the brunt of the economic harm this measure will
create. Small nurseries have been responsible
      for the majority of new plant introductions from overseas which
have revitalized the entire gardening
      industry in recent decades.
   7.According to the USDA Economic Research Service, horticulture and
floriculture are the fastest growing
      sector of U.S. agriculture with 12.1 billion in revenues in 1998,
and this has steadily risen since. In these
      difficult economic times, it is grossly irresponsible of the USDA
to obstruct such an economic powerhouse
      with completely untested, unproven and unnecessary regulatory
restrictions.
   8.These restrictions may be illegal under free trade treaties, and
are sure to invite retaliatory measures by our
      trading partners. This comes at a time when entrepreneurial free
trade should be encouraged.
   9.The clean list is only the latest in a pattern of USDA obstruction
of legitimate business and biodiversity
      conservation efforts, as witness the recent imposition of
outdated regulations that haven=92t been enforced in
      decades due to their inapplicability. The
phytosanitary-certificate requirement for flower seeds which has
      been unnecessary and unenforced for over 50 years, and irrational
prohibitions of modern sterile-culture
      orchid seedlings (essential for orchid conservation), have both
been suddenly enforced by an out-of-control
      USDA, sending shockwaves throughout the nursery industry and
gardening community. Antiquated,
      outmoded regulations from the 19th century should not be enforced
in the 21st.
  10.The clean list proposal is a reckless & irresponsible expansion of
an antiquated, cumbersome and inefficient
      bureaucracy at a time when government should be moving towards a
streamlined and efficient future.
  11.When the USDA requested comments on the clean list proposal,
American scientists, businessmen and
      gardeners were 8 to 1 against the clean list, yet the USDA
ignored the clear mandate from the American
      people, and included this and even more restrictive proposals in
the Draft Action Plan. The USDA is totally
      out of touch with the American people ? remember the recent
"Organic Rules" furor?

One of the founding fathers of our nation, Thomas Jefferson, said: "The
greatest service a man may do for his
country is the introduction of a useful plant." I hope you will stand
with Jefferson on this issue, and rein in the
out-of-control USDA and NISC.

I am totally opposed to any "clean list" policy as well as the new
phytosanitary and orchid-seedling restrictions,
and am opposed to any further restrictions and roadblocks to interstate
commerce. The USDA must get back to its
mission of serving agriculture, not obstructing it.

In closing, I want to point out that gardeners are the single largest
common-interest group in the U.S., and that you
can be sure we will Remember In November. I will be waiting for your
response, indicating what you are doing to
rein in the USDA & NISC, and where you stand on the "clean list" issue.

Sincerely,






 © 1995-2015 Mallorn Computing, Inc.All Rights Reserved.
Our Privacy Statement
Other Mailing lists | Author Index | Date Index | Subject Index | Thread Index