Thursday, July 05, 2018

Saw Palmetto On Exploited Plant List - Berry Pickers Warned

LABELLE, FL. -- Effective July 17, 2018, Saw Palmetto will be included in the Exploited Plant list in Florida and harvesting of the berries and fronds will be highly regulated.

This means that it is unlawful for any person to willfully destroy or harvest such plant without first obtaining written permission from the landowner and a permit from the state. Any person transporting for the purpose of sale, selling or offering for sale such plant must have a permit in his/her immediate possession.

Berry "pickers" have been frequently harvesting the berries between citrus and tomato season, most often on vacant lots or unfenced acreage and without permission of the land owner. The pickers then take the berries to temporary buyer stands usually found with signs in Spanish saying "Se Compra Bolita." 

The bolita, "little berry" in Spanish are bought for about a quarter a pound. The berries are then sold again to processing plants, one large one operating in north LaBelle on Marshall Field Road off SR29.

The new regulation makes it unlawful for any person to falsify any paperwork/document that permits another person to destroy or harvest such plant.

Any person transporting or conveying on any public road or highway must have a permit in his/her immediate possession. Any person who violates, commits a Misdemeanor of the 1st Degree and is subject to be arrested.

The saw palmetto is a hardy plant; extremely slow-growing, and long-lived, with some plants, especially in Florida possibly being as old as 500–700 years. The leaves are used for thatching by several indigenous groups, so commonly so that a location in Alachua County, Florida, is named Kanapaha ("palm house"). Workers can often be seen on private property harvesting the fronds for various uses including chickee roofs, an open structure found on beaches, and other resort areas for shade.

Berry extract has been researched for treatment of people with prostate cancer. However, according to the American Cancer Society, "available scientific studies do not support claims that saw palmetto can prevent or treat prostate cancer in humans"

A meta-analysis by the Cochrane Collaboration found that saw palmetto berry extract given therapeutically, even at double and triple doses, did not improve urinary flow or improve the prostate gland size in men with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Two large trials published found the extract to be no different from placebo.


Information on getting a permit from Department of Agriculture - click here


  1. Do you know what lobbyist were paid off to get this ridiculous laws passed by the big million-dollar ranchers in the state of Florida

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    2. I think that Stephen Hildebrandt at the agricultural department is stupid and still has no concept of what he has done. I am not sure that it is corruption -yet. At this point I think that they did not realize that they are destroying a 750 million per year industry. They implemented a harvest permit process that takes months to complete during the season. Up there in Gainesville they have no idea about berry harvest in the central part of florida. The economic value to the state of florida is about 1/4th the value of citrus and they do not have a clue what they are messing with. Berries will go to $5 this year as the whole industry is in crisis over stupidity.

  2. I guarantee big ranchers in Florida paid lobbyist to get this law passed to drive the price up so a guy like me can't feed his family with a little bit of money I made on it would you please look into the fax for me because I can't find anything on it you being an investigative journalist should be able to find out the truth

    1. I own 14 properties and I cant get a permit to pick my own land. They are not giving permits to large land owners or at least people who are not connected politically. The berry association made a request for information from the Ag department in Gainesville about who they consulted on the rule before implementing and the Florida agricultural department is not complying with the freedom of information act. The agricultural department is in violation of the statute that they made the rule under and some believe that is why they are trying to not comply with the freedom of information act. They do not want to disclose who they consulted on the ruling. The agricultural board members are also refusing to disclose if they were in contact with a drug company before the ruling and refusing to release the board minutes. At this point I don't believe that it is private ranchers. We need the money to pay property taxes and when the price of berries goes above $1 there is a trespassing problem. I think that it is the drug companies that got this done and "land owners who are not private". We now believe that land owners who are not private could be some government agency like St Johns or fish and wildlife properties that are government owned. All the "small" land owners who only own 500 acres of palmettoes are getting ripped off by the state of Florida.

  3. Replies
    1. Only Florida can provide palmetto berry extract. The world needs the medicine. The palmetto Berry is an amazing berry and is a gift from god. It is a prescription medicine prescribed by medical doctors in foreign countries. Merk and big pharma has killed its use in the usa through politics because it competes with Flomax and other patented drugs. When you say you "love it" do you mean you hate old men in foreign countries with medical problems who need the medice? Or do you mean that you want Florida to lose $750 million dollars per year?? I have a great idea lets prohibit citrus growers from picking their crop without a permit during harvest season and then tell the producers we will give them a permit after their oranges have dropped to the ground. I don't think you should legally be allowed to drink Florida orange juice by bureaucratic rule.

  4. Anonymous9:08 PM

    Stopping the trespassing and the people from out of town to have a legal excuse to be in my backyard is a blessing. When you let it go too far you finally get a law. Could have just made a rule about residential property.. but this is big business and no one is commercially growing a palmetto... always been a majority of trespassing people who are on private land with no permission or on public land with laws that prohibit picking already. If you allowed them to rip the aluminum from your pool cage or take all the dirt from your vacant lot they would do that too. Can't get an AG exemption for palmetto berry as a crop.. as far as I know. Make it a real crop and let it be grown for profit like all the other crops.