USDA halts potato shipments from Quebec
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service said it will immediately prohibit the import of potatoes and other products from the Canadian province of Quebec.
The agency is responding to an announcement made Monday by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency that a 30-acre farm east of Montreal contained golden nematode. The plant disease, although not harmful to humans, is extremely destructive to potato crops. It may also attack other crops, such as tomatoes and eggplants.
The USDA said it will prohibit the imports of Quebec-grown potatoes for seed, consumption and processing and impose strict soil-free requirements on farm equipment from the province.
“In the coming weeks, we will work closely with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to analyze survey data and other information and will further regionalize our restrictions, if appropriate, based on the latest scientific evidence and in accordance with international guidelines,” said W. Ron DeHaven, APHIS administrator, in a statement.