Canadian Food Inspection Agency

Canadian Food Inspection Agency

October 31, 2007 15:52 ET

CFIA: Confirmation of Potato Wart Detection in a Potato Field on Prince Edward Island

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 31, 2007) - The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has confirmed the presence of potato wart in a single potato field near Freetown, Prince Edward Island, following the collection and testing of soil samples carried out over the past weeks.

Potato wart, a soil-borne fungus, poses no threat to human health and does not affect the safety of potatoes for consumption. It is considered to be a quarantine pest by Canada and many other countries because it reduces yield and makes potatoes unmarketable. Potato wart can be transmitted to pest-free areas through infected soil or potatoes.

The CFIA has advised its major trading partners that potato wart has been confirmed. Also, the CFIA has implemented containment measures and a long-term management plan designed to minimize trade impacts for the potato industry in PEI and the rest of Canada. This plan was established after the initial finding of potato wart in 2000 to identify regulatory requirements, manage detections and prevent trade disruptions in the event of future positive finds of the plant disease in Canada or the U.S.

The latest find of potato wart was made following the voluntary submission to the CFIA of a tuber displaying potato wart symptoms and the resulting investigation to determine the precise origin of the infected tuber. The field is in close proximity to a field which is already known to be positive and has been under surveillance since the first potato wart detection in 2000.

When the producer submitted the sample, the CFIA immediately implemented control measures to limit the potential spread of infested soil and plant parts. These measures are consistent with potato wart regulatory measures taken to date in PEI.

Compensation may be available to affected parties under the Potato Wart Compensation Regulations, 2003, which provides compensation to persons for any treatment, prohibition, restriction or disposition imposed as a result of the presence of potato wart.

For more information please visit the CFIA Web site at www.inspection.gc.ca.

Contact Information

  • CFIA Media Relations:
    613-228-6682
    or
    CFIA Local spokesperson
    Dave Cameron
    Acting Regional Director, Prince Edward
    Island Regional Office
    Charlottetown, PEI
    902-566-7290
    or
    CFIA National spokesperson:
    Alain Boucher
    National Manager, Potato Cyst Nematode
    Emergency Section
    Moncton, New Brunswick
    506-851-2511