Potato wart rules set for exporting from P.E.I. to U.S.

New requirements are in place for exporting potatoes from P.E.I. to the United States to prevent the spread of potato wart.

CFIA says new rules for P.E.I. spuds needed to prevent spread of potato wart

Greg Donald, the general manager of the P.E.I. Potato Board, says the interim rules formalize some things already being done. (CBC)

New requirements are in place for exporting potatoes from Prince Edward Island to the United States.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has negotiated an agreement with the U.S. to prevent the spread of potato wart and maintain market access for Canadian potato growers.

The CFIA said the new requirements are due to recent detections of potato wart on P.E.I. and the need to prevent further spread.

P.E.I. potatoes must have a special inspection conducted by the CFIA, documentation that they were grown in a field where potato wart has not been found, and they must be washed or dry-brushed and treated with a registered sprout inhibitor if harvested more than 30 days before shipment.

Seed potatoes have to come from a field that has been soil-sampled, tested, and found free of potato wart within one year of harvest. They also have to be visually inspected during harvest, or within 10 days of harvest.

Greg Donald, general manager of the P.E.I. Potato Board, notes these are interim measures.

"The implications from this federal order are actually formalizing some of the things that we already do and also some additional measures given the most recent detection just to ensure additional safeguards if you will for the U.S. industry," said Donald.

Since 2000, when potato wart was first detected on P.E.I., the CFIA has confirmed potato wart in 23 fields on the Island. 

Potatoes from any field under CFIA restrictions for potato wart are not eligible for shipment to the U.S.

Potato wart doesn't pose a risk to human health or food safety.

However, it can reduce yields and make potatoes unmarketable.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.