Idaho Seeks Total Canadian Ban

Published online: Nov 01, 2000
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Potato Growers of Idaho said today it wants the USDA/APHIS to ban all imports of products from Canada that are potential carriers of the potato wart fungus found earlier this week on Prince Edward Island, Can.

In a resolution passed Tuesday, the Executive Committee of PGI urged all state departments of agriculture in the United States to immediately ban the import of all fresh potatoes, processed potato products, and any other fruit, vegetables or livestock that could possibly carry the disease.

PGI seeks to declare quarantine-already placed on PEI by the USDA/APHIS-to include all Canadian provinces.

"Potato wart is a potentially devastating disease that is not currently found anywhere in the United States. No chemical control is known that does not injure the soil or crops," a PGI news release stated.

"It survives in the soil for decades and can only be controlled through strict quarantine," the PGI release continued.

"The Idaho Potato Commission has worked for several years to open the way for fresh potato exports to several Asian countries. Part of the requirements are to be certified free from certain pests including potato wart. Failure to react to this problem in a timely manner could jeopardize the future of the Idaho potato industry," the release said.

Idaho growers were strongly encouraged to contact their congressional representatives regarding the seriousness of the problem.