North America, Pests and Diseases, Trade/Markets/Prices

Prince Edward Island vows to fight federal decision to halt potato exports to U.S. over potato wart

Premier Dennis King said the Prince Edward Island (P.E.I.) government will consider all options at its disposal, including legal, to fight the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s suspension of fresh potato exports from the province to the U.S.

As Arturo Chang reports for CBC News, seed potato exports to the U.S. were suspended on Nov. 2, triggered by the discovery of potato wart on two Island farms in October. In a news release issued earlier Monday, the CFIA announced it had expanded the ban to all fresh P.E.I. potatoes. King said the federal government’s decision was “extremely disappointing” and will immensely hurt the Island’s economy.

The CFIA said it took the action after the U.S. notified Canada it would act if Canada did not take voluntary measures. Federal Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau told a news conference earlier Monday that a U.S. federal order banning the imports would go beyond what is needed to reduce the risk of spread, and that it would be much more difficult to reverse.

P.E.I. Potato Board general manager Greg Donald said the board was “shocked” by the suspension, and that a management plan developed by the CFIA is already in place to prevent the spread of potato wart within the province. Donald said the restrictions do not represent the wishes of most U.S. buyers and stakeholders.

Source: CBC. Full story and videos here
Photo: Officials from the P.E.I. Potato Board join P.E.I. Premier Dennis King, centre, scientist Carolyn Sanford, second from right, and Agriculture Minister Bloyce Thompson, right, at a news conference about the potato wart issue on Monday, Nov. 22. Credit: Kerry Campbell/CBC.
Related news: U.S. potato industry supports CFIA action to protect Canada and U.S. against potato wart spread
CFIA announces ‘Canada’s strongest action against potato wart to date’
Video: The video below can also be watched on YouTube here

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