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Re: Amaryllis?? to Haemanthus albiflos

Donna, last January, the USDA/APHIS started enforcing a 50 year old
requirement that had never previously been enforced, requiring
phytosanitary certificates for all seed imported into the US.  

This requirement costs the shipper a significant amount of money
(more than a small quantity of seed is worth) and a lot of paperwork.

This has put a severe hardship on many small seed growers, seed
exchanges, etc.  NARGS, for one, and others, have let USDA know how
they feel about it and the last message that Joyce Fingerut (past
NARGS president) posted about this on Alpine-L indicated an alternate
solution is under consideration.  I am going to copy and paste her
post below my SIG for all those interested in the issue.  

It is NOT too late to write to Michael Lidsky and Dr. Arnold Tschanz
of USDA/APHIS to tell them how you feel about the phyto
requirement...so get out your pens and write!  The more voices they
hear from the gardening public, the better!

Marge Talt, zone 7 Maryland
Editor:  Gardening in Shade
Current Article: Wild, Wonderful Aroids Part 3 - Amorphophallus
Complete Index of Articles by Category and Date
All Suite101.com garden topics :

==============Post from Joyce Fingerut re: seed

The following information was received today from the USDA-APHIS-PPQ
office of Michael Lidsky and Dr. Arnold Tschanz:

"A proposal has been approved for using a permitting system as an
alternative to the phytosanitary certificate for imported
'propagative material' [seed]."

Using this method, the importer (either an individual or an
organization) would apply for permits.  These permits would be sent
to the Canadian/overseas supplier: either a seedhouse or a seed
exchange donor.  The supplier would paste the permit to the outside
of the return envelope, containing the labeled seeds and the address
of the ultimate recipient (e.g.: the seed purchaser or the Seed
Exchange Intake Manager).

The permit will direct the package to a USDA inspection station,
where the packages will be inspected to see that the seeds are not on
the list of noxious weeds, are clean and contain no extraneous
material.  After inspection, the packages will be resealed and mailed
to the ultimate recipient (purchaser or seedex).

Although it may slow up the incoming process, I certainly prefer the
permit to a phyto because it keeps everything more within our
control: we will not have to rely on overseas donors/seedsmen to hunt
down their government phyto agents, nor pay inspection fees: these
permits will be free and obtainable online.

But, at this point, only the proposal has been approved (though that
was no mean feat, as some of the writers of the original regulation
were members of the panel).

During the next stage in the process, the regulation itself will need
to be changed; this will probably take some time, as there are over a
hundred regulations waiting to be written/rewritten.  After that, the
newly proposed regulation will be submitted for public comment
(online, through the Federal Register).

This is where YOU come in, again!
We will need to send as many positive comments as possible, in order
to outweigh any negative reviews. As soon as I know it, I will
publish the url of the site, so that all Alpine-Lves (not just the
very few who responded the last time) can email their enthusiastic

When the sixty-day period of comment ends, the regulation may - or
may not, if we all do our part - need to be revised, incorporating
suggestions.  Then the revised proposal will go out again for public
comment, after which there may be some further tweaking (again,
depending upon the response) before the final regulation is published
and in place......sometime next year.

> From: Donna <justme@prairieinet.net>
> Margaret,
> When did this happen? I have been getting seeds from overseas. They
> the envelope very clearly and also package them in clear
containers. Is
> this just across Canada / US borders? I know it is royal pain of
> tape to get a plant in from anywhere....
> Donna
> Who probably should have finished reading all the messages first :)
> > 
> > Folks, it would be illegal for him to send seeds to the U.S.  I
> like
> > this ban on imported seeds at all, but the time for us to have
> > something about it (if possible) was before the USDA set this one
> > stone.  Write to your congress critters and raise hell.  Margaret
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