The U.S. Animal Plant Health Inspection Service is waiting for Canada's formal response to conditions imposed on Canadian tablestock and seed potatoes before importation over a three-year period.
According to a National Potato Council release today, the initial response to the conditions was not favorable. If Canada does not accept the newly developed conditions, then the APHIS letter of Dec. 29 will remain in effect in its entirety.
The Council stated that it believes the measures imposed are based on scientific principles and will continue to monitor the threatening potato wart fungus situation.
The conditions specify that no seed potatoes can be moved to the U.S. from either the 2000 or 2001 crops. Seed potatoes from the 2000 crop year from Zone Four (the area outside the three more restricted zones) can be shipped within Canada after normal seed certification procedures, including a phytosanitary inspection at shipping point and testing for potato wart sporangia on residual soil generated from the grading process.
Seed from the 2001 crop could be moved within Canada with the same conditions from Zones Three and Four.
Seed potatoes from the 2002 crop year could be shipped from Zone Four to the U.S., contingent on mutually agreeable surveillance for potato wart during 2001. This would include the above conditions.
For tablestock, conditions outlined in the Dec. 29 letter would be implemented for the 2000-year crop. They would be modified for the 2001-crop year to accept movement of larger packs and the removal of the washing requirement for processing potatoes in Canada.
For the 2002 crop year, potatoes from regulated and non-regulated areas could be accepted contingent upon completion of a surveillance program for potato wart using inspections and survey methods acceptable to APHIS.