May 8, 2008
USDA, CFIA Set Testing Guidelines for Nematodes

USDA and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) have 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, according to the agencies.

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.

USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service 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.

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