North America, Trade/Markets/Prices

‘Get rid of this silly BS,’ P.E.I. premier urges Ottawa as potato export ban drags

Prince Edward Island (P.E.I.) Premier Dennis King says Ottawa should cut the “silly BS” and do more to end the ban on Island potato exports to the United States. A delegation of P.E.I. officials, including the premier, met with U.S. government representatives in Washington, D.C., Thursday in an effort to reverse the suspension.

As Arturo Chang reports for CBC News, the premier said the delegation effectively conveyed their position to American lawmakers, and how the ban could eventually become a food security issue for the U.S.

“They’re also shocked and surprised when they hear that [the Canadian Food Inspection Agency] has so much confidence in their product that they’re allowing us to ship our product across the country of Canada, and to be consumed in cities and towns all across Canada,” King said.

Canada suspended all shipments of fresh potatoes from P.E.I. to the U.S. in November after fungal potato wart was discovered in two fields in the province. Officials have said that the U.S. would have imposed a ban had Canada not acted first, which would have been more difficult to reverse.

But the province argues that it was already managing potato wart successfully, as it has been following a plan that’s been in place since the fungus was first discovered on P.E.I. more than 20 years ago. The management plan was developed by the CFIA, in co-operation with American officials.

Source: CBC News. Read the full story here
Photo: Premier Dennis King | CBC
Related: P.E.I. farmers reliving nightmare of destroying potatoes in 2001
Video: The video below can also be watched on the CBC YouTube channel here.

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