November 23, 2021 – Potato Wart (PW), a regulated quarantine pest, has been detected since 2000 in fields in Prince Edward Island (PEI). New detections in two commercial potato fields that were already under regulation due to association with earlier investigations were identified in October 2021.It should be noted that while the disease impacts potatoes, there is no risk to human health.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency(CFIA) has notified industry that several actions have been implemented that have significant impact on potato growers in PEI. Those actions impact the movement of fresh potatoes to the U.S., seed potato movement to areas outside of PEI, and risk mitigation measures on the movement of fresh potatoes domestically.
The above actions will have devasting impact on the financial and economic situation of PEI potato growers through the total loss of the U.S. market and restrictions on the domestic market. This is a particularly difficult hardship given the record yields and production of the 2021 PEI potato crop.
The CHC strongly endorses the science-based evidence that supports the removal of the suspension of PEI fresh potato exports to the United States and calls for the immediate action by the Government of Canada to initiate negotiations with the United States to resolve this trade barrier. Of immediate need is access to federal financial risk management program and other support avenues to assist in the mitigation of the severe financial losses that will be incurred. The CHC is committed to supporting the science-based rationale that supports the resumption of the trade of PEI potatoes both to the U.S. and within Canada.