The Fruit & Vegetable Growers of Canada (FVGC) is pleased that on March 24 the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced that they have determined Prince Edward Island (PEI) potatoes for consumption only, may resume under specified conditions that will pose little risk of introducing potato wart disease into the United States (US). APHIS plans to publish a Federal Order outlining the additional mitigation measures required for PEI table stock potatoes imported into the US. Potato wart is a plant quarantine pest of potatoes and poses no risk to human health.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) voluntarily suspended the export of table stock potatoes to the US in November 2021 after the detection of potato wart in two already regulated fields in PEI. After publication of the US Federal order, the CFIA is expected to immediately resume the authorization of PEI table stock exports to the US.
“Table stock exports to the US represent a significant market for PEI potatoes and the restoration of this market is critical to the economic well-being of PEI potato growers and the PEI economy, said Jan VanderHout, FVGC President. “The progress announced today is a good first step in the resumption of the trade of PEI potatoes.”