Potato Wart Update

Potato Wart Update

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
From the Ag Information Network, I’m Bob Larson. It’s been almost a year since the USDA decided that trade in table stock potatoes would resume between Canada’s Prince Edward Island and the U.S. … following delays caused by the discovery of potato wart disease on PEI.

At the time, Kam Quarles, National Potato Council CEO, says he was dismayed …

QUARLES … “We hope that’s getting to a better place, Bob. It’s been pretty clear, from the Canadian federal government, that they intend to modernize those regulations, to enhance them.”

Quarles says, the Canadians HAVE been working on it …

QUARLES … “Because I think they see the same risks that USDA identified in that report that USDA APHIS put out about October of last year.”

The warning, Quarles says, was felt on both sides of the border …

QUARLES … “That report very starkly identified the risk that could potentially happen, in terms of shipping

Potato Wart inadvertently getting into the United States.”

Should that have happened? …

QUARLES … “That would be an absolute disaster for the country. We are going to do everything we can to keep that from happening. I think the Canadian and the U.S. federal governments are certainly dialed in and want to do everything they can to minimize that risk.”

Quarles says the governments are currently saying all the right things, so he believes it will settle down at some point.

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