From: "Leo A. Martin" leo1010 at attglobal.net> on 2005.02.15 at 19:50:43(12698)|
I contacted my state representative about this a few years back, asking
why we had this new requirement. He got back to me. The citrus industry
managed to get a law passed to this effect.
The Arizona citrus industry is afraid of the citrus canker bacterium
which has impacted Florida's industry, so a special phytosanitary
certificate for all shipments into Arizona is required. At one time
citrus was a huge money-maker in Arizona. There is still lots of farming
but not nearly as much as before.
The mail isn't actually opened and searched, so far as I can tell. But
ethical businesses typically try to obey the laws of the states to which
It typically costs me around $50 additional for the special phyto to
have something shipped into Arizona. Sorry, out of state nurseries, but
it just doesn't make financial sense anymore.
For those of you not in the know -- citrus canker is a bacterial disease
whose spores spread readily via wind, shoes, equipment... very readily.
It doesn't much harm the health of the trees, and doesn't even affect
production much, but the fruit after being attacked doesn't look
perfect. Therefore it is considered unmarketable.
Several years back southern Florida municipalities embarked on
search-and-destroy missions to eliminate all citrus trees from all
non-commercial private property (for example, homeowners' back yards),
on the theory that this would minimize the spread of spores to
uninfected commercial groves. Speaking as a biologist, and knowing that
sometimes wind blows in Florida, especially in late summer, this seems a
completely silly idea to me, but I freely admit I haven't studied the
biology of the bug.
Government enforcement agents entered private property without
permission, without warrants, and without compensation, to destroy
homeowner's healthy citrus trees, sometimes assaulting and battering
citizens who didn't know what was going on. I guess you in Florida have
quite the agriculture lobby.
Arizona ignores the threat of the Thai cycad scale; mass importing of
Cycas revoluta from Florida continues. Even large local nurseries who
understand the threat continue to import C. revoluta from Florida. Their
attitude seems to be, "It'll get here sooner or later, so we might as
well make money while we can."