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Request for assistance (Wisconsin residents)

If you are (a) a resident of the state of Wisconsin (b) use our Flourish Iron and (c) are satisfied with the result of its usage, then please contact me off list if you are interested in helping us to ensure that you can continue to purchase this product in the state of Wisconsin.

Flourish, Flourish Iron and Flourish Tabs are available at Petsmart in all 50 states. Because these products are considered fertilizers by state agricultural departments they must be "registered" in nearly every state (and of course we get to pay each state per product for the "privilege" of selling it in their state every year). We have completed this process for every state requiring registration, however the state of Wisconsin has an efficacy substantiation requirement that no other states have. If you have a product that is not substantially identical to a product already known to them then they require that a company must submit independent, peer reviewed, publishable research that said product provides a benefit. That sounds like a great thing, the only problem is that the manufacturer is not allowed to do the research themselves, only a third part can, and Wisconsin can't recommend any one to do it and we can't find anyone to do it and even if we did the amount it would cost would take more than 50 years for us to recoup the investment (based on sales only to Wisconsin). It simply makes no economic sense for us to do this for a product we (Seachem) already know works.

Anyway, the general issue is this: the Wisconsin department of Agriculture does not believe that an iron supplement product (not just ours, any type of iron supplementation) is beneficial in any way to a planted aquarium in the state of Wisconsin. The opinion of one individual there is that basically local tap water has plenty and you'd get enough from the gravel and fish food. That is certainly going to be true in _some_ cases but as I'm sure most on this list can attest to, iron supplementation does provide a benefit in certain situations, whether it be ours or someone else's product. But apparently because some do not need it, that is sufficient cause to exclude a product pending an overwhelming preponderance of scientific data when simple logic would tell you that if iron becomes deficient, then adding it will make it not be deficient and will thus be of benefit.

So even though this would not constitute scientific research, I thought it might possibly be persuasive if residents of the state of Wisconsin were to write a letter (US Mail) expressing how in their experience Flourish Iron has provided a noticeable benefit (others may write as well if you feel so inclined, I'm sure it would not hurt). We would then collect all such letters and forward them on to the Wisconsin Department of Ag. and see if it helps at all. If it is not persuasive then we will have no choice but to withdraw that product from the Wisconsin market. All similar products from other manufactures will likely disappear in the near future as the person I spoke with said they are getting ready to do "go out in the field" and pull unregistered products off the shelf. So this is not just a "Seachem" issue but an industry wide one. I know the intent of their law was good but it has had the unfortunate unintended consequence of limiting competition and reducing consumer choice: i.e. only huge corporations can afford to get into the Wisconsin market as only they can afford to provide the very expensive efficacy data.

Letters can be sent to:

Seachem Laboratories, Inc.
attn: Greg Morin
15151-A Prater Drive
Covington, GA 30014

Gregory Morin, Ph.D.  ~~~~~~~President/CEO~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Seachem Laboratories, Inc.      www.seachem.com     888-SEACHEM