Canadian Food Inspection Agency

Canadian Food Inspection Agency

August 15, 2006 13:23 ET

CFIA: Confirmation of Golden Nematode in Quebec

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Aug. 15, 2006) - The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has confirmed the detection of a potato pest, Golden Nematode, in a 30-acre field on a farm in the Municipalite regionale de comte (MRC) de Lajemmerais approximately 20 kilometres east of Montreal, Quebec.

The Golden Nematode does not pose a risk to human health. Golden Nematode and Pale Cyst Nematode are two species of Potato Cyst Nematodes considered quarantine pests internationally because they can significantly affect the yields of potatoes and other host crops, such as tomatoes and eggplants. These pests infest the soil where host crops are grown and have been known to reduce yields by up to 80 per cent. They are very difficult to eradicate because they can persist dormant in the soil for several decades.

Both of these quarantine Potato Cyst Nematodes have been previously confirmed in 65 countries worldwide, including limited areas of Canada and the United States. In Canada, strict movement restrictions are in place to prevent the potential spread of these pests to non-infested areas.

Canada strictly regulates areas known to be infested with PCN and samples anything suspected to be infested with this pest. Samples are also taken and tested at the request of some importing countries.

The CFIA has begun an investigation in collaboration with the Government of Quebec and industry. Records of field usage, equipment and seed sources are available from the affected farm. Strict quarantine measures have been implemented on the affected property in accordance with internationally recognized scientific standards. Extensive root and soil sampling is underway. The CFIA is confident that the measures in place will prevent the spread of this pest to non-infested areas.

The affected farm does not produce seed potatoes and is not in an area located near seed production. Canada has been exporting seed potatoes for more than 90 years to over 26 countries, many of which require routine testing of seed potatoes for this pest. There has never been a detection of Golden Nematode or Pale Cyst Nematode in Canadian seed potatoes.

The CFIA, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and the Province of Quebec are working with industry to respond to this issue. We are also working closely with our trading partners to mitigate any trade implications by providing evidence that supports a science-based regionalization response.

Information on this investigation will be posted to the CFIA's Web site (www.inspection.gc.ca) as it becomes available.

Contact Information

  • Canadian Food Inspection Agency
    Montreal: (514) 496-6488
    National media relations: (613) 228-6682