Quarantine lifted on 4 Annapolis Valley apple orchards
Tests show N.S. orchards not infected after worries of European pest
Canadian and American food safety agencies have lifted a quarantine placed on four Nova Scotia apple orchards.
The orchards were suspected to contain trees infected with apple proliferation phytoplasma, a European disease not seen before in North America.
This week authorities admitted that six months of testing had proved suspicions were unfounded.
In early April, the department announced that the Canadian Food Inspection Agency had detected the disease in a Nova Scotia orchard."No symptoms of APP were found and laboratory test were negative for APP and other phytoplasmas," the U.S. Department of Agriculture said in a statement.
Three others were quarantined after inspectors said they found symptoms of the phytoplasma, which reduces growth and results in smaller less sweet fruit.
It poses no risk to people.
In all, about 170 acres were quarantined. The farms have not been identified but all produced for Scotian Gold, a fruit processing company based in Coldbrook, N.S.
Scotian Gold says it’s pleased no APP was found, but the company said releasing news of the quarantine was premature given that suspicions were based on a single tree.
"We think CFIA was doing its job. But the damage to the reputation of Pacific Galas was unnecessary," said Larry Lutz of Scotian Gold.
In its statement, CFIA said it will continue to try to identify what it found at the orchard.