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The United States is closing borders on Canadian seed potatoes due to wart disease

The United States (USA) has decided to temporarily suspend the transport of seed potatoes from this Canadian province following two recent outbreaks of wart disease in potato blocks in the Prince Edward Islands.

Infections at two Canadian potato companies were confirmed by the Canadian Food Research Institute (CFIA) on October 1 and 14. As of 2000, 35 cases of potato wart disease have been reported in the Prince Edward Islands.

U.S. officials announced on November 2 that they would ban Canadian potato imports until appropriate action is taken. Closing borders does not apply to processed potato products. The US decision mainly affects seed potato exports.

Wash and brush

Measures now announced by the CFIA to control the risk of spreading warts include washing and brushing the potatoes to remove soil residue. In addition, root research is being carried out in and around the affected potato companies to determine the origin of the infection.

The CFIA hopes to convince US officials of risk reduction measures. There are ongoing technical discussions on wart disease between experts from both countries and data on ongoing studies are being exchanged.

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