I9ve just been reading this amazing story which is happening on the east coast of my continent, in Florida, and which mirrors, to a chilling degree,
the structure of the FMD/contiguous cull mentality. 

The subject, in this case, is not cattle or sheep, but the most innocent of all, trees
From backyards all over south Florida, families' citrus trees are being eradicated, "contiguous cull" fashion, in order to "save"  the mega-groves from the dread "citrus canker".

Why?  Is the disease so bad?  No.  It is cosmetic.  Doesn't hurt people,kill the tree or even compromise the juice.  But is a blemish, which"consumers" do not tolerate, and so will cost the multi-billion dollar industry plenty. And so we must agree it is bad.  But the remedy?

The remedy is familiar: to wipe out all the trees throughout the residential areas to keep the canker from spreading to the groves.  This is done by illegal, unconstitutional search, under threat of jail, to any property owner within 1,900' (scientifically determined) of a tree suspected of infection (no test required).

Here's a report from the citrus canker.com website.  What I think it shows is that the mentality that killing is preferable to risking profits is a disease not limited to the UK.  It says to me that we all need to be vigilant and awake and learn to do just what your website does: never to let a lie lay unchallenged.

Read this excerpt.  Does it not sound tragically familiar?

Update: March 28, 2000

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A 95-year-old Tamarac (Broward County) man was arrested yesterday after brandishing an unloaded rifle at a police officer.Florida Department of Agriculture canker personnel were uninvited guests and about to remove and destroy the fourth and final citrus tree (a grapefruit)from the man's yard. Homeowner Nelson Edwards refused access.Canker inspector David Benner threatened Mr. Edwards with a lawsuit for standing in the way of workers. Police were called in so Edwards got his rifle and was immediately arrested. He was later released on $5,000 bail charged with aggravated assault with a firearm on a police officer.The State cut down his last tree.One neighbor commented "I hope this doesn't kill him."


Update: September 6, 2000

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September 6, 2000 is among the saddest days in South Florida history.Citrus Canker is a Page-1 story again saying the disease has now cost taxpayers and citrus growers over $129 million and counting.  The spending pace is currently about $8 million per month.The tragedy, however, is not the money.  We called and spoke with business writer Joseph Mann at the Sun-Sentinel to confirm his unbelievable words,"Over the next year, plans call for aggressive cutting in Broward and miami-Dade that will eliminate almost all citrus trees in the two counties."That's right, almost ALL our citrus trees.If you do care about the money, the newest estimate is that $250 million will be spent before its all over.It already sounds like it's all over, doesn't it?   Right now the kill rate is about 4,500 trees a day.  If they speed up a little, every citrus tree in south Florida will be dead, ground up and buried in the dump by this time next year.

Update: June 19, 2002

With the kill zone now 1,900 feet, few trees will be spared. If any citrus
tree is confirmed or suspected of having canker, every other tree in a 1,900foot circle will also be destroyed.


What can we do--other than never let a lie lay unchallenged...

Hugs to you for all those lies you do not let rest,

Bonnie