U.S., CANADIAN OFFICIALS AGREE ON SURVEILLANCE PLAN FOR POTATO WART
U.S. and Canadian agricultural officials said they have reached agreement on an inspection-based plan to move the 2001 potato crop off of Prince Edward Island to the United States.
The plan is to protect the United States against the import of potato wart, a soil-borne disease that causes potatoes to grow deformed and unmarketable. Potato wart, of which spores of the fungus can remain viable in contaminated soil for many years, was eradicated from the United States in 1992.
Under terms accepted by the U.S. department of Agriculture and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, the CFIA will continue to monitor and survey every potato field on Prince Edward island for potato wart, based on a three-year plan. After three years, all of the fields on the island should have been inspected. Once a field has been sampled according to agreed-upon protocol and the results are negative, the field can be recognized as free of potato wart.
Until October 2000, potato wart in Canada occurred only in Newfoundland.