In a sincere but misguided attempt to keep us safe, Homeland Security has imposed the kind of everyone-take-your-shoes-off-at-the-airport approach to a horticulture product, fermented fish heads.
Organic gardeners around the world use products like bat guano, seaweed and fish emulsion to perk up their plants and feed the good organisms in the soil.
Underwood Gardens "Home of Grandma's Garden Catalog" has been selling Fermented Salmon, all-purpose Liquid Organic Fertilizer, manufactured by Coast of Maine, Inc., in Portland, Maine.
Testimonials on the Web site recommend it as a fertilizer for indoor house plants. In addition, it is 85 percent effective in repelling deer, rabbits, woodchucks and squirrels; and, it does an effective job against aphids and white flies. Then it was found to deter Japanese beetles when it is used as a foliar feeding spray.
The manufacturer, Envirem, has been sending the Canadian product to the U.S. for eleven years and when the recent snag occurred, they submitted every piece of documentation that the U.S. Department of Agriculture requested.
Underwood called her state representative. She was told that it could take 90-days to clear up. So she called Dick Durbin and Barak Obama. Nothing.
One clever blogger at http://www.mchenrycountyblog.com/2007/07/fish-heads-threat-to-homeland-security.html replied that maybe since Underwood calls the product a weapon in organic gardeners' arsenal, perhaps Homeland Security perceived a threat.