CDFA Secretary A.G. Kawamura and San Francisco District Attorney Kamala D. Harris have announced a settlement in a case of illegal plant importation. A stipulated judgment is in place with Daniel Goldman and Goldman Enterprises, Inc., also doing business as Sunborne Nursery in San Francisco. The defendant will pay a $15,000 civil penalty for trying to import uncertified plants into California from the State of Florida. The defendants will also be required to pay $4,690 in investigative costs to CDFA.
"I want to express my appreciation for the great work by CDFA inspectors and the San Francisco District Attorney's Office," said CDFA secretary A.G. Kawamura. "Invasive species threaten our environment, our food supply, and our way of life."
The defendants will create and maintain an isolated quarantine holding area for all incoming shipments that is reserved for the purpose of holding plants delivered under quarantine until released by the Agriculture Commissioner.
"In these trying economic times, it is crucial that we protect one of California’s most vital industries," said District Attorney Kamala D. Harris. "These plants can carry small pests that are big problems for California’s many farms and agriculture workers. Protecting our environment is a responsibility of doing this type of business and we have an obligation to make sure that duty is being upheld by those who profit from this industry."
On April 25, 2008, the California Department of Food & Agriculture received an anonymous tip that a truck carrying uncertified plants from Florida would be entering California, bound for Sunbourne Nursery in San Francisco. When the truck arrived at the nursery at 1150 Phelps Street on May 2, a CDFA biologist discovered 286 plants that lacked both bills of lading and certificates from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. The purpose of certification is to prevent the importation of plants infested with pests not native to California.
Enforcement of California's quarantine laws and regulations are essential to the protection of California's multi-billion dollar food supply.
California Department of Food and Agriculture Office of Public Affairs
1220 N St., Ste. 214, Sacramento, CA 95814