Alberta Mirror

Friday, September 29, 2023

Canadian and U.S. officials to gather Friday to talk P.E.I. potato prohibition

Key takeaways: 

  • Officials from Canada and the United States were catalogued to meet Friday to consider the end of shipping of Prince Edward Island potatoes south of the border. 
  • A sales order that is affecting potato costs in both nations.

Potato shipping affecting price in both nations: 

“The resolution can’t happen soon enough,” PEI Potato Board general manager Greg Donald stated in an interview Friday. “The longer this continues, it will mean bigger losses — and that doesn’t even consider the damage to our reputation.” Source –

The previous month, Canada halted shipments of P.E.I. potatoes to the U.S. after the hearing in October of a parasite called potato wart in two fields in the region. The fungal parasite develops through the movement of contaminated potatoes, soil and farm tools. It acts as no threat to human health but gives the potatoes damage and can considerably reduce the yield of potato crops.

Had Canada not announced the suspension voluntarily, the U.S. would have forced its order, according to federal Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau. Donald announced millions of dollars are being spent and that the problem requires to be solved as quickly as feasible.

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Canadian and US officials to meet and discuss on potato ban

Representatives of the Island’s potato growers met with Canadian government directors Thursday in Ottawa, before Friday’s conference with U.S. officials.

“We pushed for timelines,” Donald stated. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency, he continued, “tells us they are 100 per cent confident with everything our farmers are doing around this disease. We keep asking, ‘what is different? What does the U.S. have an issue with?”‘ Source –

Potatoes moving to the U.S. are removed and sprinkled with a sprout inhibitor, he stated, figuring that there have been no records of potato warts being spread to any location in that nation. Donald stated if science hasn’t been replaced, then it’s a trade problem that politicians will have to decide.

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