Irradiating Plants?

By Skip Richter

Various gardening media outlets have reported that the U.S. Postal Service has indicated that in response to concerns of possible terrorist activity, mail may be irradiated. This would create a serious problem for people sending seeds, cuttings, and other plant material through the mail because of the potential effects of the irradiation process on living materials. However it should be noted that the USPS is only irradiating packages shipped to Washington, D.C., ZIP codes beginning with 202-205. Additionally the following types of mail will not be irradiated even to these limited ZIP codes: USPS Express mail with meter strips or corporate accounts, priority mail with meter strips or permit indicia, all registered mail, and bulk quantity mail, such as catalogs and magazines. So gardeners from other parts of the country worried about ordering seeds and plants through the mail can relax!

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