Mexico Will Not Provide Samples

Published online: Oct 10, 2000
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Despite the urging of the USDA Animal Plant Health Inspection Service, Mexican officials will not share a sample of what it says is the golden nematode received in potatoes exported from North Dakota.

APHIS and North Dakota officials strongly believe that Mexico is wrong about finding the golden nematode in shipments from North Dakota.

Mexico recently responded, refusing to share a sample and insisting that the survey data provided by North Dakota is insufficient proof that the pest is not present.

APHIS is trying to determine if there are other ways to challenge Mexico on this issue.

The golden nematode, brought to the U.S. from Europe, has been quarantined in New York for decades. The USDA has spent millions of dollars making sure that it does not move from its isolated location.

That Mexico claims to have found it in shipments from North Dakota flies in the face of every nematode species identification survey conducted by United States nematologists.

The National Potato Council adds that Mexico has been intransigent about all phytosanitary issues involving the United States and that none of the issues have been resolved. It is believed no progress will be made until the new Mexican administration takes office in January.