Canada's Acting Chief Plant Health Officer, David Bailey, has announced measures to prevent the spread of potato wart from Prince Edward Island.
Potato wart was first detected in PEI in 2000.
Since that initial detection, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has surveyed for potato wart annually in PEI and introduced the Potato Wart Domestic Long Term Management Plan with the objective to mitigate the risk of spread of potato wart outside of the restricted areas in PEI.
On October 1 and 14, 2021, the CFIA Charlottetown laboratory confirmed the presence of potato wart on two different PEI farms. The two detections showed high levels of potato wart, and made it necessary to take Canada's strongest action against potato wart to date.
This follows previous detections in 33 fields across all three PEI counties since 2000.
On November 2, 2021, the movement of seed potatoes from PEI to the U.S. was suspended.
A ministerial order has since been put in place to control potato wart and mitigate risk to prevent the spread of quarantine pests. The order restricts the movement of seed potatoes from PEI and introduces new risk mitigation measures for PEI table stock and processing potatoes.
The CFIA has suspended the movement of fresh potatoes from PEI to the U.S., which includes table stock potatoes and processing potatoes. The suspension does not apply to processed potatoes, such as frozen products.
Potato wart poses no threat to human health or food safety, but is known to decrease yield on farms.