[NAFEX] Availability of grafting wood from government repositories
Sarah Kehler Ewing
skkewing at yahoo.com
Thu Apr 1 18:35:46 EDT 2010
I just heard about the change in policy from an email forwarded by a friend told she wasn't getting anything this year! I'm completely annoyed. I agree that we should support the nurseries out there and I have/do, but most of the stuff in Canada's clonal genebank isn't available anywhere else. For instance, I bought a ton of rootstock last year so I could graft their entire cherry plum collection. I have an entire box full of printed catalogues and a long list of bookmarked nurseries, but I already have every cherry plum commercially available. On the other hand, CCG has the entire greek alphabet series and now they won't let me have them! Seriously, how many people in Canada want cherry plum material? And I'm using Cherry plums just as an example: I loaded up on pear rootstock too planning to graft some varieties this spring, thankfully I grafted about 75 kinds apples last year.
Could you please send me the address (email or otherwise) where you protested? I would like to add a letter of complaint too.
Do you have any information on what I would have to do to be recognized as a "bona fide researcher or breeder" to get this exemption? I like to tell people (a bit tongue in cheek) that I own/operate a 'husband funded private research station' and plan to get into breeding red fleshed desert apples, but I need the start-up materials to do that! If I could get an exemption, I'd be happy to request materials for others!!!
I have recently encountered an issue with the provision of grafting wood from the Canadian
Germplasm Repository. They have determined that I am neither a "bona fide researcher nor
a breeder", and hence am not entitled to obtain grafting wood from the Repository (the
equivalent of the National Plant Germplasm System in the States). Obviously this
determination applies to virtually all the Canadian NAFEX members, (other than the staff of
the dwindling number of govt research stations and multinational agribusiness employees.) I
have registered my objection to this interpretation, which represents a substantial change
from the practice to date. But to bolster my argument I need information from other
jurisdictions. Am I correct in my belief that ordinary citizens of the US can request material
from the various repositories maintained by the NPGS? And that my cousins in the UK can
get wood from Brogdale or Long Ashton? And so on for Holland, France, India, etc.? Note
that the issue here has nothing to do with disease transmission, quarantine, prohibition of
importation of specfic material into specific states, etc. Rather it hinges specifically on the
perceived mandate of the Repository, which is restricted to "bona fide researchers". And
amateur growers are not, in their eyes. (I note that the NPGS also state that "Germplasm is
available in small quantities for research purposes" ; obviously if my belief that people
outside academic centres and government labs can nevertheless access materials in the
States is correct, the crux of the issue hinges on the definition of a "researcher". (I think
NAFEX members, and all the train of amateur fruit growers who preceded us have done far
more legitimate real world research than all the white coated lab types.)
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