The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) welcomes the news from the United States Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA-APHIS) today, that imports of Prince Edward Island (PEI) potatoes for consumption to the United States can now resume with conditions. Field grown seed potatoes from PEI may not be exported to the U.S. at this time.
CFIA staff worked tirelessly for several months to provide the scientific evidence the U.S. requested and to reassure them that PEI potatoes for consumption are safe for trade. Resolving this issue has been a top priority for CFIA and APHIS, who were both committed to scientific integrity underpinning their technical discussions and risk assessments.
The Agency worked closely with APHIS to discuss and review the updates to the phytosanitary risk mitigation measures in the U.S. Federal Order. The order has now been posted and requires:
- Potatoes for export and seed potatoes used to produce them must originate from fields not known to be infested with potato wart or associated with known infestations.
- Potatoes must be washed in PEI to remove soil, treated with a sprout inhibitor, and graded to meet the U.S. No 1 standard (equivalent to Canada No 1).
- Shipments must be officially inspected and certified as meeting USDA requirements.
- All potato shipments must have traceability from the production site, to packing, to export, allowing a full trace-back and recall.
- Potatoes must be treated with a sprout inhibitor that is registered with Canada's Pest Management Regulatory Agency and consignments must be accompanied by a statement on the export documentation detailing the treatment.
- Potatoes must be free of soil upon inspection at the port of entry.
The CFIA is now preparing to certify exports to the U.S. as quickly as possible.