Potato Wart Allowed Pt 1

Potato Wart Allowed Pt 1

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
I’m Bob Larson. Potatoes from Canada’s Prince Edward Island, where the highly destructive potato wart disease has been detected, will now be allowed back into the U.S. … before soil testing on PEI was completed, according to Thursday’s announcement from the USDA.

National Potato Council CEO Kam Quarles says they are dismayed to learn USDA is allowing this …

QUARLES … “The standard that was rolled out in this announcement from USDA indicates that effectively it encourages a farmer not to test his fields. Because if you’re aware that the disease is there, then you have a penalty. But if you don’t test, you can tell everyone you didn’t know it was there and keep on shipping. And, that is a bad place to get to.”

This, Quarles says flies in the face of common sense …

QUARLES … “To us, the fastest way that you get to that answer is to test your fields. You don’t want to plant in a field that is infested with this disease, but their position was we want to plant and we’ll deal with the consequences later. And, unfortunately, USDA and CFIA, that’s where they came down.”

Quarles says this is not the answer …

QUARLES … “What we have told them over and over again is as difficult as this is for the PEI growers, if it gets into a production area in the United States, it’s exponentially worse.”

Tune in tomorrow for more on the NPC’s reaction to the USDA’s decision on Canadian potatoes … infected with potato wart.

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