Two recent outbreaks of wart disease in potato batches in the Prince Edward Islands have led the United States (USA) to temporarily suspend the transport of seed potatoes from this Canadian province.
The infections on two Canadian potato companies on 1 and 14 October have been confirmed by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). Since the year 2000, 35 infections of wart disease in potatoes have been detected in the Prince Edward Islands.
The US authorities informed Canada on 2 november that they were banning the import of Canadian potatoes until appropriate measures were taken. The closing of borders does not apply to processed potato products. The US decision mainly affects the export of seed potatoes.
Washing and brushing
The measures now announced by CFIA to reduce the risk of spreading wart disease concern the washing and brushing of potatoes to remove soil residues. Source research is also being carried out on and around the infected potato farms to determine the origin of the infections.
The CFIA hopes to convince the US authorities with the risk reduction measures. On the other hand, there are ongoing technical discussions between experts from both countries on wart disease and data on ongoing studies are exchanged.