Tag: Politics/Policy/Regulatory

US: Newly-signed Wisconsin state laws require growers to use certified seed potatoes, speed response to disease

Some Wisconsin potato growers are applauding new state laws that could help protect against crop disease. Gov. Scott Walker signed two new measures involving the potato industry on Wednesday. One law requires growers to use certified seed potatoes if planting 5 or more acres. “It’s a requirement that just about every one of the other seed states in the country that grow[Read[Read More…]

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The ban on importation of US potatoes into Mexico as explained in article published in the Spanish ag press

The decision by a judge in Mexico a few days ago to prohibit the importation of potatoes from the US received intense attention in ag circles in both countries, and beyond. A news story about this issue was published on the Spanish ag news website ARGENPAPA (based in Argentina). The article is entitled “México: ¿Por qué Sagarpa prohibió la importación[Read[Read More…]

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Breaking News: Mexican court bans US potato imports over ‘food sovereignty’ and spread of diseases

According to an Associated Press (AP) news report, published late last night on CBC Local in Sacramento, a Mexican federal court has made an unusual ruling yesterday that bans the import of US potatoes on the grounds that the imports ‘violate Mexicans’ right to food sovereignty and a healthy environment’. A group of Mexican potato growers had reportedly sought a constitutional injunction[Read[Read More…]

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US: National Potato Council warns of ‘serious threat to the industry’ if potatoes are imported from the UK

Last week, the National Potato Council (NPC) in the US provided comments to USDA APHIS on the recent pest risk assessment for the importation of potatoes from the United Kingdom to the US. NPC emphasized concern over six pests that would threaten the industry. The introduction of these pests into the US would “substantially harm US potato production and could cost[Read[Read More…]

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US potato industry joins voices supporting export assistance programs

Potato grower Eric Halverson  has spoken in front of the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition & Forestry Committee was in Washington, D.C. regarding the importance of the USDA export programs. Mr. Halverson is a fourth-generation farmer and CEO of Black Gold Farms in Grand Forks, North Dakota. U.S. potato growers see fierce foreign competition in key export markets and continued access is vital[Read[Read More…]

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Colombia: Potato sector asks government to accept their anti-dumping suit

This week the Colombian government will determine whether they will accept the anti-dumping suit filed by the potato sector in the face of massive imports of potatoes that have put at risk the activity of more than 100 thousand national producers. “We have already filed the anti-dumping lawsuit, we hope to find out this week if the government will take precautionary[Read[Read More…]

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Australia: Potato farmers send bill for $500,000 to government for abandoned Galati legal case

Frustrated potato growers have sent the West Australian State Government a bill for hundreds of thousands of dollars after the Government dropped an industry funded legal fight against Perth businessman Tony Galati. WA Premier Mark McGowan made the decision to drop the case, which was launched by the now-defunct Potato Marketing Corporation (PMC) against Mr Galati for allegedly planting more than his[Read[Read More…]

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European Commission won’t ban Belgian frites

The European Commission is not going to ban Belgian frites, as a spokesman told journalists in response to criticism of an initiative aimed at regulating the way they are made. The commission is proposing that the potatoes should be blanched first to prevent the formation of acrylamide, an allegedly carcinogenic compound that can form in the frying process. It is consulting[Read[Read More…]

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UK: Potato industry to meet on eve of CIPC regulation change

Postharvest Showcase, one of the leading potato storage events in Great Britain, is to take place on 27 July, days before regulations on the use of Chlorpropham (CIPC) are to change. CIPC is the principal tool in the potato storage manager’s box when tackling sprout suppression in tubers. An interactive display at the event, provided by independent body the CIPC Stewardship[Read[Read More…]

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Zambian farmer alleges market is flooded by cheap potato imports from South Africa

A commercial farmer has called on the Zambian government to protect potato growers from cheap imports from South Africa. Stuart Cooke, who is managing director of Chartonel Farms in Lusaka, said a lot of cheap potatoes are allowed onto the Zambian market from South Africa, which is disadvantaging local farmers. “Cheap imports are really affecting us. Our new crop is just coming[Read[Read More…]

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UK: Brexit affects potato industry

During the Europatat Congress in Antwerp, Belgium, Cedric Porter of the World Potato Markets gave a presentation titled Brexit and the Potato Industry. Last June, 52 per cent of the British people voted to leave the European Union, and this month, negotiations between the UK and the EU will start. Brexit itself is planned for March 29, 2019. However, last week’s[Read[Read More…]

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Taiwan: Gov’t to control future GMO potato imports

Agriculture authorities say they’re prepared to implement controls to prevent the possible import of U.S. genetically modified (GMO) potatoes from affecting domestic growers. The U.S. recently applied with the Health and Welfare Ministry to import GMO potatoes, with the approval process expected to be completed next year at the earliest. However, concerns are being raised about the potential health impacts of[Read[Read More…]

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Australia: Potato growers after state

Potato growers have now turned their attention to the state government to seek reimbursement for legal costs after the WA Premier stepped-in to stop a civil lawsuit against the spud king, Tony Galati. The call came after spud king Tony Galati admitted guilt in the Supreme Court to a contempt of court charge which related to an injunction ordering him to stop growing more potatoes[Read[Read More…]

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US: Omnibus bill increases potato breeding funds

The U.S. House of Representatives and Senate recently passed a $1 trillion omnibus spending bill that funds the government through the end of September. The conference report includes an increase in the NIFA Potato Breeding Research line item to $2.25 million. During the Potato D.C. Fly-In, National Potato Council (NPC) attendees advocated for $2.25 million to be included in the final[Read[Read More…]

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US: Genetically engineered potatoes approved for Maine

With little fanfare, the Maine Board of Pesticides Control unanimously approved earlier this month the registration of three new types of genetically engineered potatoes that have been developed by a major Idaho agribusiness company. The move means that the J.R. Simplot Co.’s Russet Burbank, Ranger Russet and Atlantic potatoes could be planted in Maine fields at any time. These potatoes were[Read[Read More…]

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Potato wars in Australia: Anger boils as WA premier drops ‘bizarre’ case against spud king

The Western Australian premier has provoked the ire of the potato-growing lobby for instructing the state solicitor’s office to drop a long-running court case against the self-styled potato kingpin Tony Galati. Galati, WA’s largest potato grower and proprietor of the Spudshed chain of independent supermarkets, was sued by the Potato Marketing Corporation in 2015 for exceeding his potato quota. The case was[Read[Read More…]

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US: Updating Cuba market access proposals

Several efforts to open the Cuban market for US potatoes have occurred in the last 17 years.  The most recent was last March with a potato industry visit to the island just 103 miles south of Florida.  Cuban officials expressed an interest in US potatoes after that visit. Because of that interest, industry officials met last week to review the most recent[Read[Read More…]

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Simplot postpones commercial introduction of Innate GMO potatoes in Canada

Simplot Plant Sciences will not commercially launch its Innate GMO potatoes in Canada this year, despite regulatory approval and interest among potato farmers to grow these new potatoes, according to a report by CBC News. Doug Cole, director of marketing and communications, said Simplot is holding off allowing commercial growth of Innate potatoes in Canada until there’s a proven market for[Read[Read More…]

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UK: Sainsbury Laboratory received approval for trial of GMO potatoes

In the United Kingdom, farming minister George Eustice (DEFRA) has approved a four-year trial of genetically modified (GM) potatoes at The Sainsbury Laboratory in Norwich between 2017 and 2021. The trial site, which is at the John Innes Centre, must meet various restrictions, including maintaining a width of 20 metres around the GM plants, and not exceed 1,000 sq m[Read[Read More…]

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US: Washington State potato producers to vote on marketing order

Washington State potato producers will vote from June 9–23, 2017, on whether to continue the federal marketing order regulating the handling of Irish potatoes grown in Washington. Producers who have produced potatoes in Washington from July 1, 2015, through June 30, 2016, are eligible to vote. A continuance referendum is required every six years. The Washington potato marketing order provides authority for[Read[Read More…]

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US: Genetically engineered potatoes approved for Maine

With little fanfare, the Maine Board of Pesticides Control unanimously approved on Friday morning the registration of three new types of genetically engineered potatoes that have been developed by a major Idaho agribusiness company. The move means that the J.R. Simplot Co.’s Russet Burbank, Ranger Russet and Atlantic potatoes could be planted in Maine fields at any time. These potatoes were[Read[Read More…]

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US: NPC asks EPA to keep chlorpyrifos available

Last week National Potato Council and an alliance of organizations wrote to EPA Administrator Pruitt in support of chlorpyrifos. EPA is to decide by month’s end on whether to revoke all tolerances of the insecticide as demanded in a 2007 petition filed by an environmental group. The Agency’s actions thus far seem to ignore established, scientifically sound analysis mandated by[Read[Read More…]

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China predicts huge growth thanks to potatoes

China predicts huge growth thanks to potatoes, with the current Five-Year Plan recognizing the crop as one of the country’s four staple foods alongside rice, grains, and corn. The government plan is to focus on these staples in order to ensure the Chinese of food safety and security. Identifying potatoes as China’s fourth staple food has been long overdue. Although[Read[Read More…]

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Lukie Pieterse, Editor and Publisher

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