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U.S. border reopened to Alberta seed potatoes


January 26, 2009
By Canadian Food Inspection Agency

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potatocystnematodeJanuary 26, 2009, Ottawa, Ont. – Starting January 28, Alberta will be
able to resume the export of seed potatoes to the U.S. according to a
recent press release from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).

January 26, 2009, Ottawa, Ont. – Starting January 28, Alberta will be able to resume the export of seed potatoes to the U.S. according to a recent press release from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).

potatocystnematode“We worked hard with domestic producers to have the U.S. re-open its market to Alberta seed potatoes and we have succeeded,” said federal agriculture minister Gerry Ritz. “We look forward to working with the new U.S. administration to maintain and ensure harmonized trade of potatoes.”

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Following the detection of potato cyst nematode (PCN) in 2007, the Canadian government took a number of actions to ensure compliance with U.S. import requirements, including completing a delimiting survey (soil sampling) of the two farm units in Alberta associated with the PCN detections, in collaboration with Alberta potato producers. All soil samples were negative for the plant pest.

The U.S. market is now open to all Canadian seed potatoes that meet PCN Phytosanitary Guidelines. This does not include potatoes produced in regulated areas. These guidelines will soon be amended based on recommendations contained in a 2008 Independent International Science Panel report on PCN. The amendments will be made jointly by the CFIA and U.S. Department of Agriculture in full consultation with industry representatives.

Potato cyst nematodes are recognized internationally as quarantine plant pests; however, they do not pose a threat to human health.