Thursday, February 17, 2022

Potato wart detections total 33

Contrary to oft-repeated information that there are only two fields in Prince Edward Island where potato wart has been detected, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency has revealed that there have been 33 detections since the first one in 2000.

When that original detection came to light, the U.S. banned P.E.I. potatoes for six months. The ban was lifted after Canada put sanitation measures in place.

Late last year, in the face of a threat from the U.S. to impose a new ban, the CFIA acted to impose a ban on P.E.I. potatoes going to the U.S.

Recently that ban has been relaxed to allow exports to Puerto Rico whence they can go the U.S. which has no restrictions on Puerto Rico because no potatoes are grown there.

Potato wart is a soil-borne fungus that can remain dormant in a field for more than 40 years. The latest detections in October 2021 represent the largest area and highest number of associated fields. 

“This increase required the strongest action to date against the further spread of potato wart off P.E.I.,” the CFIA said. 

However, it allows Island potatoes to be sold across Canada.