Potato Council expresses renewed concerns about PEI potato wart

The National Potato Council, the lobbying group for the U.S. potato industry, this week expressed concerns about reports about more cases of potato wart being found on Prince Edward Island, which exports potatoes into the United States.
NPC CEO Kam Quarles, citing reports from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and the Agriculture Department’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, said, “This latest find reinforces USDA APHIS’s determination that the extent of PEI’s potato wart infestation is likely larger than reported by Canadian authorities and, even with current mitigation measures in place, potato wart is almost certain to be introduced to other growing areas, including to U.S. potato production areas.“
“The impact of disease spread into the U.S. would be absolutely catastrophic for American potato growers and the entire North American potato value chain that relies on foreign markets,” Quarles said.
“The USDA report combined with continued discoveries of potato wart in PEI fields validates NPC’s position that the 2021 PEI export ban was entirely appropriate and our concern that reopening the export market before the completion of comprehensive testing was premature and put our industry at risk.”
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