David I. Theodoropoulos, Las Sombras Biological
Preserve, Box 337, La Honda, CA 94020-0337 USA
The deadline for comment on new import regulations
I suggest that you write to your representatives objecting to this abuse of USDA power.
This is a very serious situation. The proposal, as outlined by the USDA and phased
in over a number of years, will result in the complete lockdown on public access to the world's
botanical diversity. The combination of risk assessment for every species (even every cultivar, or
every area of origin), and the "clean stock" programs will end forever the ability of
individuals and small businesses to easily import seeds of the majority of plant species. This is
the "White List" we have been warning about for the past decade. The restrictions that
will be imposed are so serious, and so expensive to comply with, that it will place the biological
diversity of the planet into corporate hands.
If you do nothing else this year, please comment! You have until April 11th, 2005.
Please review the information below, and send your comments to the USDA. For the full text of the proposal, with significant portions highlighted in red, click here. I strongly recommend that you review the red-highlighted portions of the complete proposal on that page.
I recommend that you state your opposition to the entire proposal, opposition to risk assessment in particular, and opposition to both "options" for risk assessment (although the "second option" is less harmful), and that no species should be added to an "excluded pending risk evaluation and approval" category in the absence of genuine positive evidence indicating real economic harm. A "guilty until proven innocent" policy is completely unacceptable.