The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has completed its national survey for potato wart ahead of schedule, and potato wart was not detected, the agency says in a press release.
CFIA says the national survey conducted this fall involved soil testing across areas of Canada that grow seed potatoes (except Newfoundland) to confirm that unregulated areas of Canada remain free from this pest. It demonstrates Canada’s commitment to preventing and managing the spread of this disease, supports exports, and is expected to strengthen trading partners’ confidence in Canadian potatoes.
The expedited completion of the survey marks an important step in the Government of Canada’s action plan to reassure international trading partners of the safety of Canadian seed potatoes, CFIA says in its press release. “It is also information that the United States is seeking, as part of its ongoing review of the CFIA’s containment and control of potato wart.
“The latest scientific evidence gathered from the national survey was provided to the US Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), and should serve to provide reassurances they need that it is safe to resume the trade of fresh potatoes. The US is also looking for outcomes of the CFIA investigation into the recent detections of potato wart on PEI to show that appropriate mitigation measures and an ongoing monitoring plan for a clearly defined quarantined area are key in controlling the spread of potato wart.”
CFIA says “clear scientific data like these survey results are one step in assuring trading partners that the trade in potatoes from non-quarantined fields is safe and does not pose a risk to pest-free areas. It is important news for potato producers in Prince Edward Island and across Canada. The CFIA stands firm that, based on the science, the risks associated with the transmission of potato wart from fresh potatoes remain negligible when appropriate risk mitigation measures are in place.”
The cooperation of seed potato growers was essential in conducting this national survey, and the CFIA has informed them of the survey results.
The Government of Canada is taking a Team Canada approach to resolving this science-based issue and will continue to provide updates as new information is available, according to CFIA. Cooperation with potato producers, industry, other government departments and trading partners is essential to resume market access for PEI fresh potatoes and to ensure continued market access for high-quality potatoes from across Canada.
Source: Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). Original release here