Canadian Food Inspection Agency

Canadian Food Inspection Agency

October 24, 2005 10:35 ET

Plant Health Risk International Meeting

CFIA to host international meeting on plant health risks beginning October 24 in Niagara Falls Attention: Agriculture Editor, Assignment Editor, Environment Editor, News Editor, Science Editor OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Oct. 24, 2005) - The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) will be hosting an international meeting on plant pest risks beginning October 24 in Niagara Falls.

In recent years, plant pests, fungi and diseases that were previously unknown in Canada have been introduced through wood packaging, illegal imports or other means, and have become an increasing problem in different parts of the country. Southern Ontario has had to combat Plum Pox Virus in the Niagara region, the Emerald Ash Borer in the southwest, and Asian Longhorned Beetle in the Toronto area. The cost of fighting these pests has amounted to millions of dollars, and the potential costs to the agriculture and forestry industries could be even greater if the pests are not either eradicated or brought under control.

The workshop, which was organized jointly with the Secretariat of the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC), is intended to address issues similar to these and find solutions to problems faced by people involved in plant health risk analysis or pest risk analysis (PRA) around the world. PRA provides the scientific basis for protecting a country's plant resources, including habitats and ecosystems, by evaluating the information available to determine the risks of introduction and spread of plant pests into new areas, and the potential for these pests to cause environmental and economic damage.

The Government of Canada is committed to responding to the threats posed by invasive alien species through prevention, early detection and rapid response to new invaders as well as the management of established and spreading invaders. The goal is to minimize the risk of invasive alien species to Canadian agriculture and forestry and the natural environment.

What: International Plant Health Risk Analysis Workshop

When: October 24 to 28, 2005

Where: Sheraton Fallsview Hotel and Conference Centre, Niagara Falls, Ontario

More information on the workshop and a link to the technical programme are available on the CFIA web site at www.inspection.gc.ca/english/sci/surv/phra_e.shtml
/For further information: Louise Dumouchel
Canadian Food Inspection Agency
(613) 228-6698 ext. 5981/ IN: AGRICULTURE, ENVIRONMENT, FORESTRY

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