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

Ban of P.E.I. spuds to U.S. won’t be resolved this year: minister

The ban of Prince Edward Island’s potatoes to the U.S. won’t end this month, federal Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau said Wednesday. “It would be ambitious to think it could be solved by the end of the year, considering the date,” Bibeau said. “It’s a top priority. … I’ve had quite a few conversations with (U.S. Agriculture) Secretary (Tom) Vilsack directly.”

As Janet E Silver reports for iPolitics, exports of fresh P.E.I. potatoes to the U.S. were suspended on Nov. 22 after potato wart was found on two farms in the province. The U.S. had warned Canada it would prohibit imports of Island potatoes unless the federal government banned them voluntarily.

Speaking in Ottawa, Bibeau said scientists with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency are working hard to alleviate American concerns about the fungus. The agency also held a technical briefing with the government of P.E.I. on Monday. “All our best scientists and trade officers are working on this issue,” Bibeau told iPolitics on Wednesday.

Source: iPolitics. Read the full story here
Photo: Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau speaks to reporters in Ottawa on Wednesday. (Patrick Doyle/The Canadian Press)

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