North America, Trade/Markets/Prices

P.E.I. Potato Board says Ottawa should reduce restrictions on domestic potato trade

The P.E.I. Potato Board says the federal government should reduce the scope of a ministerial order restricting the movement of Island potatoes across Canada while a ban on exports of such potatoes to the U.S. remains in place.

As Arturo Chang reports for CBC News, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) met with its American counterpart, the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Agency, as part of a regular technical discussion on how to find a resolution to the ban. But there’s little indication a resolution to the issue is closer at hand.

On Thursday, the board expressed its frustration with regards to the lack of progress to a committee of Island MLAs. General manager of the P.E.I. Potato Board, Greg Donald said the federal government should at least limit restrictions on the P.E.I. potato trade across Canada, including the ban on seed potatoes, so that they only affect regulated fields.

Donald said potato wart is a “quarantinable pest,” and that U.S. jurisdictions have put similar types of plans in place for other such pests, where bans haven’t been put in place even after multiple detections.

The board has also said it’s hired a lobbyist in Washington, D.C., to help them solve the dispute.

Source: CBC News. Read the full report here
Photo: Courtesy Shane Hennessey/CBC

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