Invasive Species VIP Replies


In response to questions raised by John Peter’s reply, here’s a
tidbit about the Invasive Species Advisory Committee (ISAC) on which
Monsanto sits, from the website of the National Invasive Species

The ISAC has been instrumental in writing the National Invasive Species Council    Management Plan. Several working groups were convened under the auspices of ISAC to help write the eight sections of the Plan.

Peter points me to a correction I’m happy to make – that the longer
list of comporations belongs to the California’s invasive species group,
rather than the federal one. 

And Googling "Monsanto invasive species" yields info about another
connection the company has to the whole issue – its involvement with
genetically engineered soybeans which are now being accused of
invasiveness.  Boy, talk about your tangled web! Not that they’re
guilty of anything, of course (hey, I took the law boards, ya
know) but I’m all about asking questions.  Here’s a quote and link if
you’re so inclined:

Proponents of the seed pre-emption bills, including the
Agriculture Department, are championing the interests of corporate
"gene giants" such as Monsanto and Syngenta — not citizens. Whether
you’re for or against genetically modified seeds, the pre-emption bills
represent an anti-democratic measure to take control away from
communities. Link.

On a more personal note, "Invasive Notes" goes on to say:

tend to get excited at the thought that someone is thinking about
keeping them from being the first person in the area to have the newest
North Korean vine, but I do not hear much controversy over the federal
government’s attempt to control the spread of the emerald ash borer or "sudden oak" death. We want our government to protect us except when individual greed overwhelms us.

I don’t care about being the first person in my area to have the newest
North Korean vine, though I understand that collectors may.  And I know
that researchers in a variety of fields are interested in importing
plant species, and there must be others with a dog in this fight that
I’m unaware of.  Here in my own garden most of my plants have a function they need to perform, so I’m anxious to keep the best
performers available.  For example, I might "get excited" if I
had to give up, say, plain old creeping liriope, which I’ve found to be
the best plant for preventing erosion on my steep, shaded banks.

Now because bloggers love to opine about blogging – admit it! – I’m
going to go out on a limb here and offer John Peter some suggestions
about his, which just went on line October 1.  Yes, a newborn is among

  • The entries are "posted by Ioannis Petrus" and the URL includes
    that person’s name, so who is he or she and what’s the connection with
  • I may be too long out of college but I totally don’t understand your tag line.  Sorry.
  • Referring to GardenRant as simply "a gardening blog site"?  Ooh,
    that’s low.  Bloggers have egos, ya know.  Oh, yeah – everybody knows

There’s more from JPT in his Rant Interview – our first – and in my review of his talk on gardening’s "Culture of Invasive Plants."

Thanks again, John Peter, for being part of our discussion.  And keep on blogging!

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Susan Harris

Susan’s a garden writer, teacher and activist in the Washington, D.C. area. Co-founder of GardenRant, she also wrote for national gardening magazines and independent garden centers before retiring in 2014. Now she has time for these projects:

  • Founding and now managing the pro-science educational nonprofit GOOD GARDENING VIDEOS that finds and promotes the best videos on YouTube for teaching people to garden.
  • Creating and managing DC GARDENS, the nonprofit campaign to promote the public gardens of the Washington, D.C. area, and gardening by locals.
  • Creating and editing the community website GREENBELT ONLINE to serve her adopted hometown of Greenbelt, Maryland (a “New Deal Utopia” founded in 1937).

Contact Susan via email or by leaving a comment here.

Photo by Stephen Brown.


  1. I may be pointing out the obvious, but isn’t “Ioannis Petrus” the Latin for John Peter, and possibly a witty way of linking himself to botanical terms … ?

    Anybody who says “de gustibus non disputandum” in a Garden Rant interview is eminently capable of such humor.

  2. Thank you for the tips. I thought about changing the signature and then saw that someone made the connection, so for now I shall keep the Ioannis Petrus. As I set up the site I mostly had no idea what anything actually did, so I am learning by trial and error, and can use any suggestions gladly.
    I think I have changed the draft title heading to reflect the name of your least I hope that I have.
    I assume by tag line, you are speaking about the reference to BARC et alia. I have spelled out BARC Beltsville Agricultural Research Center, and hope to have a piece this week about the systematics work and other threatened research. I will be also be commenting on historic preservation which is just as thorny and tangled as invasive issues.

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