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Guidelines for cross-border potato movement revised

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Guidelines for cross-border potato movement revised

Guidelines to ensure the continued trade of potatoes in the event of future detections of potato cyst nematode were established by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. The new guidelines aim to maintain the movement of potatoes across the border and protect each country from the spread of potato cyst nematode.


May 7, 2008
By United States Department of Agriculture

May 5, 2008

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the
Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) today announced modified guidelines to
allow for the continued trade of potatoes should there be future detections of
potato cyst nematodes in either the United States or Canada.

"USDA and CFIA are committed to relying on sound science as the basis of all
our decision making and have agreed to establish a scientific panel to advise on
the implementation of the guidelines," said Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer.
"The revised guidelines will maintain the safe movement of potatoes between the
United States and Canada while continuing to protect our countries against the
spread of potato cyst nematodes."

As part of the revised export certification requirements, all fields used to
produce seed potatoes for trade between Canada and the United States must be
soil sampled using a full field grid pattern. As a result, the previous sampling
technique–the perimeter sampling approach–no longer meets the agreed-upon
requirements. All potato shipments between the two countries also must include a
phytosanitary certificate with an additional declaration confirming that the
seed potatoes originated from fields tested and found free of potato cyst
nematodes.

"I am pleased that Canada and the United States have reached this agreement
to make sure American producers have access to Canadian seed potatoes," said the
Honorable Gerry Ritz, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the
Canadian Wheat Board. "This deal is also delivering results for both American
and Canadian farm families by clarifying guidelines to make sure we work
together effectively to handle future PCN issues."

USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and CFIA revised
the guidelines in response to the golden nematode detection in the province of
Alberta in the fall of 2007. If Canada meets all of the requirements of the
revised guidelines, some Alberta seed potatoes from the 2007 crop could be
eligible for export to the United States.

Both the United States and Canada remain committed to preventing the spread
of these nematodes. The revised guidelines adjust the risk mitigating measures
established following the 2006 detections of potato cyst nematodes–the pale
cyst nematode, Globodera pallida, in Idaho and the golden nematode, Globodera
rostochiensis, in Quebec.

The golden nematode and the potato cyst nematode are recognized
internationally as quarantine plant pests; however they do not pose a threat to
human health. If left uncontrolled, these pests have the potential to cause
significant damage to potato crops. Potatoes and tomatoes are the principal
crops of economic importance that are attacked by them. The nematodes can
adversely impact the economy due to crop losses, pest management expenses and
market access interruptions.