Last week, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) reported the detection of potato warts in two fields where potatoes were being grown for processing. While CFIA indicates that the potatoes did not leave the island, they announced it has suspended the export of seed potatoes from PEI to the United States.
On Friday, November 5, USDA’s Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) hosted a call with NPC, Potatoes USA, and the state potato organizations to talk through its joint efforts with CFIA to determine if further restrictions are needed.
“We appreciate the efforts of APHIS to limit the spread of potato wart beyond PEI,” said NPC President Dominic LaJoie, a potato grower from Maine. “We can see Canada from our farm, so this issue hits very close to home. We have communicated our concerns that repeated detections of potato wart in PEI shows the disease situation is not under control with the current management plan that’s in place. We have urged USDA to push CFIA to expand these measures by voluntarily suspending all PEI potato exports to the U.S., restricting the movement of PEI potatoes within Canada to prevent inadvertent disease transmission, and restricting equipment from crossing into the United States.”