PEI Potato Wart Update Pt 2

PEI Potato Wart Update Pt 2

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
From the Ag Information Network, I’m Bob Larson. Officials in Canada say they’ve completed its investigation into the detection of potato wart on Prince Edward Island back in 2021 but reports of the planting of potatoes in tainted soil has many in the U.S. very concerned.

Kam Quarles, CEO of the National Potato Council, says this practice needs to end as it perpetuates the disease and makes its spread more likely …

QUARLES … “If the risk remains unaddressed it heightens the possibility that this disease gets into the United States and that would be a multi-billion-dollar negative impact on, nut just the potato industry, but the whole U.S. economy. We can’t allow that to happen.”

Quarles says this can be done successfully …

QUARLES … “There are ways to mitigate all of these risks, but CFIA/USDA they need to act rapidly. This report that APHIS put out has been out there for ten months now and it needed to be acted upon ten months ago. This far down the line it is just imperative that they act.”

The “wait and see” attitude, Quarles says is dangerous …

QUARLES … “Well, that, apparently that has been the strategy for a while and we’re getting increasingly concerned as that’s becoming the durable strategy. We need a change here and we need it fast.”

Quarles says without additional mitigation measures in place, that APHIS report states that it is a question of “when” not “if” PEI potato wart spreads to the United States.

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