We hope you have enjoyed the SRGC Forum. You can make a Paypal donation to the SRGC by clicking the above button

Author Topic: "Proposed International Standard on Plants for Planting"  (Read 2158 times)

Lesley Cox

  • way down south !
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 15137
  • Country: nz
  • Gardening forever, house work.....whenever!
Re: "Proposed International Standard on Plants for Planting"
« Reply #30 on: August 09, 2010, 12:55:07 AM »
I agree with every word you say above Marcus, but like Rob and David, feel quite helpless. I as much as you, work in what has become an impossible environment for the introduction of plant material. A number of specialist nurseries have closed because new material is not permitted and gardeners and gardens suffer as a result and countless jobs have been lost. Your list of what to do about it, while absolutely on the ball, is, for many or most people, an impossibly expensive exercize in both time and money. If I were 30 years younger.....or even 10.

The great biosecurity threats in NZ now are not from introduced plants but from pests and diseases brought in on ships' decks and in containers, of machinery, especially second hand machinery, including cars, tractors industrial machines and the like, and totally inadequate inspection processes at ports of entry. This will always be the case, regardless of what requirements are put on exporting countries. In general, a "random" sample is taken of perhaps one in ten or even more. There is no question ever, of inspecting every item imported. Those exporting will never give a damn about whether they're sending bad stuff to other countries. Not their problem. It will always be our problem, to protect our biosecurity.

We also have the "political" requirements to be met. The Dept of Conservation is determined to keep out as much exotic material as possible and maintain NZ as a "natural" habitat. (It hasn't been that for 1500 years!) Then there is the Maori vote. They too, want all exotic material kept out and even removed. Ideally, from their point of view, this would extend as far as the white population, let alone immigrations of all European, African and Asian peoples. Against such strong lobbies, gardeners, nurseries, or "hobbyists" have no voice at all or if they shout loud enough, are considered to be vexatious and selfish. I do most Maori an injustice here. Most are well aware that the status quo will remain and are happy for it to do so but there is a VERY stong voice among some, wishing to turn back the clock to what they see as halcyon days of early Maori immigration (they are NOT indigenous people) before the European arrived. and our current white politicians are of the appeasing kind.

I believe your list is the right way to go for those who have reasonable restrictions or regulations at present. They may be able to save something from the devastaton to come if the proposed standards are put in place internationally. For New Zealand and probably Australia, it is far too late. For the rest of you, let our situation be a grim warning.
Lesley Cox - near Dunedin, lower east coast, South Island of New Zealand - Zone 9

gote

  • still going down the garden path...
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1581
  • A fact is a fact - even if it is an unusual fact
Re: "Proposed International Standard on Plants for Planting"
« Reply #31 on: August 19, 2010, 08:15:12 AM »
I was actually trying to suggest the exact opposite.
The lightly regulated exchange of plant material between amateurs poses a severe threat.
Entire communities often depend upon the success of a few restricted crops.
Failure of a crop such as cotton, rubber, sugar, soy, maize could result in poverty, famine, political instability and mass migration.
Plant disease can change the course of human history (Think of the Irish Potato Famine).
It is impossible to ensure safety in a situation such as seed exchanges, where there is a wide diversity of plant material, in small voulmes.
It is simply incorrect to imply that seed is free of disease, or that a plants potential to act as a weed in its non native environment can be anticipated.
The current measures in place on this material are wholly inadequate, and I would support more stringent regulation, even if it were to result in seed exchanges being no longer able to send material to overseas members.


OK Giles.
The unregulated transports in the previous century caused pest/disease caused famines in.............. Where? Examples please!

How are you going to prevent travellers from putting seed in their pockets? Shall we all be searched naked everytime we cross a border??
Shall all private mail be steamed open in search of seed ???
Shall every bird crossing a border be shot?

I repeat: A large proportion of the pests and diseases that have been transported across borders were transported by hitchhiking on vectors that have not been subject to search or control and which in the future are not included in any planned regulations. I mean trains, ships, airplanes, machinery, (thank you Lesley) grain, etc etc. The yearly fast spread of flu is a good example.

Extended regulations only hit responsible seed exchanges and feeed burocrates and large organizations. Burocrates want more regulations so they can get more work, status and money. The organizations want monopoly on selling plants, seed etc. 

As far as CITES is concerned, the regulations were written for animals and without proper discussion extended to plants in the last minutes.
An animal can usually move out from an immediate threat such as a bulldozer but cannot be propagated by cuttings grafting or division.
A plant can not move out from under the bulldozer but can be propagated vegetatively.

CITES does not prevent a farmer with a rare plant on his land to start growing this plant and exporting it. But only If he can cope with the local burocrats and pay enough for all inspection measures. In reality this is a severe hindrance. It is easier to eradicate the rare plant in order to grow a crop that he can sell without the fuzz and which he is more familiar with.

We end up with the present situation where we are allowed to put tarmac on top of the only occurance of a rare orchid in the county but are forbidden to move it into safety and even forbiden to save the seeds from the tarmac. We are also forbidden to move sterile clones of endangered species into safety (hepatica nobilis fl.pl) This means thet the regulation is a death warrant.

Cheers
Göte

PS.
 Of course strict regulations would have prevented the Irish potato disaster since no potatos would had been allowed in the first place. That applies to all the listed potentially endangered crops above.
Göte Svanholm
Mid-Sweden

alpinegarden

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 4
Re: "Proposed International Standard on Plants for Planting"
« Reply #32 on: November 27, 2010, 10:52:54 PM »
Some of you may be interested in the official country comments that were sent to the IPPC from the U.S. representative, Julie Aliaga, APHIS-PPQ.  You're welcome to read the whole template, of course, which reflects the position that APHIS is taking and, in turn, reflects comments that she received from stakeholders.  However, take note of two particular comments, the very first paragraph and the comment under Scope.
Both comments indicate that APHIS is willing to exclude small lots of plants from future regulations that would be based upon this Standard.  The wording in those two official comments are almost word-for-word from my email to Ms. Aliaga, showing that APHIS-PPQ officials are concerned with and responsive to their stakeholders.

Go to:
http://www.aphis.usda.gov/import_export/plants/plant_exports/phyto_international_standards.shtml   
Click on "APHIS Comments for Draft Standards, and then on Draft: Integrated measures approach....

I hope that others have also written to their country representatives (at DEFRA, CFIA, etc.) so that their comments reflect the same thinking and the final Standard will contain language that exempts non-commercial (meaning, smaller) lots from the need for Integrated Measures.

Maggi Young

  • Forum Dogsbody
  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 29036
  • Country: scotland
  • "There's often a clue"
    • International Rock Gardener e-magazine
Re: "Proposed International Standard on Plants for Planting"
« Reply #33 on: November 27, 2010, 11:41:22 PM »
It is just this sort of helpful advice, and more besides, which has meant
that Joyce has gained the admiration and gratitude of so many American
members and the Seed Teams of the likes of SRGC and the AGS for her
assistance in clarifying USA seed import regulations and also in lobbying
for various changes to the system.

Joyce's efforts in this field are remarkable and her level of success in
preparing cogent and relevant presentations to the Authorities on these
matters have played an important part in keeping seed ordering
accessible to USA members of clubs like SRGC.

It is important that we all take heed of regulations that may be afoot is each of our countries, as Joyce says, to  make sure we do all we can to keep the exchange of seed between plant enthusiasts a possiblity in time  to come.

 Thank you, Joyce for your continuing efforts in this field.
Margaret Young in Aberdeen, North East Scotland Zone 7 -ish!

Worry is like a rocking chair, it will give you something to do but it won't get you anywhere.
"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and it may be necessary from time to time to give a stupid or misinformed beholder a black eye."

Lesley Cox

  • way down south !
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 15137
  • Country: nz
  • Gardening forever, house work.....whenever!
Re: "Proposed International Standard on Plants for Planting"
« Reply #34 on: November 28, 2010, 04:43:24 AM »
I've yet to read the links from alpinegarden's post but  it seems we could do with Joyce here. Please send her by airmail.
Lesley Cox - near Dunedin, lower east coast, South Island of New Zealand - Zone 9

Maggi Young

  • Forum Dogsbody
  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 29036
  • Country: scotland
  • "There's often a clue"
    • International Rock Gardener e-magazine
Re: "Proposed International Standard on Plants for Planting"
« Reply #35 on: November 28, 2010, 02:32:21 PM »
I can assure everyone that Joyce would indeed be a welcome addition to the workforce of any club! Her dedication to NARGS is undoubted and she has been a tremendous help to the Seed exchanges of both the SRGC and AGS (and perhaps others) in the matter of  understanding and implementing seed import permit regulations.
It was this unstinting help to the SRGC in such spheres that resulted in Joyce being awarded  Honorary Membership of SRGC at our recent Annual General Meeting.
 It is acknowledged that her help has resulted in the SRGC seed exchange being better able to advise and assist USA Members in their applications for seed from our exchange.
As you can see from her posts above, Joyce has just the determination and skills to present reasoned submissions to the various government authorities of such subjects and so you will see how richly Joyce deserved this honour.

 President Liz Mills spoke at the AGM of Joyce's contribution and there was general applause for the award. Joyce Fingerut is a most valued Member of SRGC and a great example of the international cooperation that goes on between our organisations.     
Margaret Young in Aberdeen, North East Scotland Zone 7 -ish!

Worry is like a rocking chair, it will give you something to do but it won't get you anywhere.
"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and it may be necessary from time to time to give a stupid or misinformed beholder a black eye."