Canadians Speculate On Closure

Published online: Dec 04, 2000
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Officials of the Canadian potato industry are speculating that the recent border closure to Canadian potatoes from Prince Edward Island may be lifted if each side can agree to correct phytosanitary measures.

Canadian growers have limited import of Maine potato seed because of ring rot disease. Americans have limited shipments of Canadian potatoes because of the newly discovered wart virus in PEI potatoes.

Could it be that with compromise the border would be opened to accept potatoes from each side of the line-after they have met testing and certification?

A PEI grower, who shipped eight truckloads of seed potatoes from Maine last May, has been charged in PEI courts with violation of a Plant Health Act ban against United States potatoes.

Maine is accusing PEI of breaking international trade agreements and wants the PEI border open to Maine seed potatoes, the same as four other Canadian provinces.

The U.S. has closed the border to potatoes coming from Canada-except those packed in small consumer bags-because of the wart virus. When this ban will be lifted is unknown.