EU Bans Egypt's Potatoes

Published online: Nov 27, 2001
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Measures prohibiting the import into the European Union of potatoes from Egypt's 2001-02 crop unless detailed requirements have been met take affect Nov. 30.

These include measures to ensure the potatoes do not come from known brown rot-infested areas within Egypt and that Egypt register traders and test seed potatoes which are used to produce the exported crop.

EU member states must inspect all imported consignments and test samples for brown rot. Existing controls on the disposal of waste from packing and processing must be maintained to prevent possible latent infection further spreading potato brown rot.

Traces of latent brown rot infection were found in 0.2 percent of the 27,500 tons of Egyptian potatoes imported into the United Kingdom during the 2000-01 season. The potatoes were destroyed.

There have been five outbreaks of the disease in potatoes in the UK-in 1992 and 1995 in the Thames basin, two in 1999 in Northamtonshire, and one in 2000 in Kent. The disease was also found in 1997 and 1998 in tomato plants grown at one locality in Bedfordshire.