Canadian Food Inspection Agency

Canadian Food Inspection Agency

March 16, 2007 15:30 ET

CFIA and USDA Begin Implementation of Additional Potato Surveillance Measures

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - March 16, 2007) - The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service have developed a joint potato cyst nematode certification protocol for all seed potatoes traded between Canada and the United States.

The initial phase of this protocol will begin on March 21, 2007, as the first step in implementing potato cyst nematode surveillance for the Canada and U.S. This protocol responds to the 2006 detections of the potato cyst nematode in the province of Quebec and in the state of Idaho. The goal of this protocol is to maintain the safe movement of regulated articles between Canada and the United States while continuing to protect against the spread of these nematodes. It reflects the risk mitigating measures agreed upon in the Canada-U.S. guidelines for phytosanitary action following the detection of potato cyst nematode in Canada and the U.S.

Since most potato fields are currently frozen, the first phase of the protocol will include sampling and testing of soil associated to tubers in storage facilities for all remaining 2006 seed potatoes shipped between Canada and the U.S. All shipments between Canada and the U.S. must include a phytosanitary certificate with an additional declaration confirming that the lot was tested and found free of potato cyst nematode according to the agreed-upon protocol.

The next phase of bi-national potato surveillance will begin during the 2007 production year and will include more extensive field surveys for seed potatoes. Discussions on the surveys will continue between CFIA and USDA officials and stakeholders over the coming months.

Potato cyst nematodes are recognized internationally as quarantine plant pests; however they do not pose a threat to human health. Their primary means of spread is through contaminated soil. If left uncontrolled, these pests have the potential to cause significant damage to potato crops. Potatoes and tomatoes are the principal crops of economic importance that are attacked by these pests. The economic impact of these nematodes can be high due to crop losses, pest management expenses and market access interruptions.

For more information on potato cyst nematodes, please visit our website at

Contact Information

  • Canadian Food Inspection Agency Media Relations:
    Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)
    Media Relations:
    Melissa O'Dell
    Jerry Redding