Re: One person's opinion
I respect Mary very much, and fully appreciate her hard work over many
years. I also wish I could give her the credit and rewards she justly
deserves; but surely there must be more than two ethical TC labs!
However, I know from recent first hand, personal experience the terrible
damage and injustice that can be done to innocent people by stating "If
man were only
> half what God wants him to be"--, without regard to the sad fact that such opinions are almost always filtered through ones on precepts and opinions of what is right or wrong. I guess I don't believe that Mary intended to imply this, but so many people have done so in the past, and I admit that I am overly sensitive on the subject. Most people have absolutely no idea of the labor intensive nature of micropropagation, to say nothing of the huge numbers of "atypical" plants that must be discarded while trying to produce a few "typical" plants for a given hybridizer. I, for one, am truly not doing this for the profit that, in more cases than anyone could even guess, simply is not there. If I were to factor in a fair wage for myself and my wife, Laura, who is now trying to help with transfering rooted TC's to liners, managing the greenhouse, and shipping the plants, while at the same time being an elementary school teacher, there simply would be no possible way we could sel!
the plants we produce for the pathetic price we sell them for. Even these rediculous prices are often challenged by all kinds of skemes and ideas on the part of some growers who, being concerned about their own narrow profit margins, openly threaten to take their business elswhere. This is to say nothing at all about the hours and labor spent on a hosta that ultimately cannot be TC'd at all within practical financial parameters, due to the presence of endogenous, parasitic contaminants which quickly engulf, and destroy, under the sterile conditions of culture, every culture attempted. Trying to explain this to many growers/hybridizers is also not a pleasant experience, because there is the ever present feeling that their opinion, even if unspoked, that the contaminant was the result of some inadequate aspect of the TC lab, rather than simply a natural condition of this magnificent world we live in, having not been designed, in the first place, to rapidly replicate, by artif!
ial means, this or that plant, and grow it under conditions not compatible with it's genetic make up. And then there is the savage competition among the various TC labs which often provokes downright dishonesty of one toward another, to say nothing of shipping plants off to distant places like India or Tailand where plants can be, and are being, replicated at a fraction of the cost of here in the United States. This factor, alone, eg. pressure from the hybridizer for a cheaper production cost, could surely account for some "rare" hostas mysteriously disappearing, only to wind up at WalMart and Home Depot for $2.99 for a 3 gallon pot. I guess these comments could be summarized, in part, by the often seen tee shirt message of the day: "There IS no free lunch". None of the foregoing should be construed as advocating a lapse of ethics just because the "going gets rough". That is certainly not intended. It's just that we in America are the priviledged few of the entire populatio!
of the world to live in a capitalistic democracy. Sometimes, there is a downside to even that, but in all my travels I have never seen the place I would even consider trading it for.
MissVitro Plant Tissue Culture Laboratory
John and Laura Lanier
Route 9 Box 908
Burnsville, NC 28714
> Doing what is right should not have to be enforced by law. If man were only
> half what God wants him to be then we would not have to write rules to govern
> right and wrong.
> At this time I would like to add that Jim Anderson at Winterberry Gardens and
> Walters Gardens have been completely up front about all of my plants and that
> I really appreciate their code of ethics.
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