David Cameron, of the CFIA, said the wart was found in separate fields and the fields have been shut down,
“We have detected potato wart in two fields on separate farms on P.E.I.,” Cameron said. “We have the situation fully under control. We had staff on the ground literally within hours of these finds.”
Cameron said the fields from which the samples were taken are under quarantine.
“This means we are restricting the movement and soil and also have implemented cleaning, disinfection activities on all of the equipment under use for the farms units,” he said.
Cameron, because of privacy regulations, could not identify the two farms that are under quarantine.
To mitigate the spread of the potato wart, the potatoes produced in these fields will be destroyed.
CFIA has implemented the potato wart long-term management plan, Cameron said.
“It has worked well for us in the past and it lays out the guidelines that we need to follow to clear those fields by way of soil sampling. We’ve already commenced soil sampling about four days ago.”
The potato wart long-term management plan was established after the initial finding in 2000 and has been used to respond to previous detections of the pest. It includes regulatory requirements to effectively manage detections and prevent trade disruptions in the event of future detections. The last detection occurred in 2007.
Potato wart poses no threat to human health or food safety. However, it is a quarantine pest that is regulated in Canada because it reduces yield and can make potatoes unmarketable.
The CFIA, with the P.E.I. government and P.E.I. industry associations are working together to control this pest and inform various stakeholders of the situation.