Apr 4, 2022USDA issues Federal Order banning seed potatoes from Prince Edward Island
The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) issued a new federal order officially prohibiting the importation of seed potatoes from Prince Edward Island (PEI) into the U.S.
Effective April 4, Federal Order DA-2022-14 replaced the previous order, issued in 2015, regarding the importation of potatoes from PEI, which is directly related to recent cases of potato wart detected in PEI fields.
USDA-APHIS suspended importation of both tablestock and seed potatoes from PEI in November 2021 after two positive cases of potato wart were confirmed. A third case was found later due to increased testing requirements issued by the Canadian government.
On March 24, APHIS ruled that tablestock potatoes from PEI could once again be imported to the U.S., but April 4’s announcement confirms there are no immediate plans to resume seed potato importation.
Since potato wart was first confirmed in PEI in 2000, 34 cases have been found of the highly contagious disease. The U.S. National Potato Council vehemently disapproved of even allowing tablestock potatoes into the U.S.
“The spores can survive a wide range of environmental conditions, including conditions in storage and transport,” according to the USDA statement. “A low level of resting spores in tubers or soil is sufficient for the spread of the pathogen. The movement of infected potato tubers and contaminated soil are documented as important pathways for the introduction of S. endobioticum to new areas. There are no treatments available to control potato wart.”
Federal Order DA-2022-14 prohibits the importation of field-grown seed potatoes from PEI into the U.S. and allows the importation of potatoes for consumption that meet the specified conditions, as well as all other applicable USDA regulations.
For information regarding this Federal Order, contact Senior Regulatory Policy Specialist Narasimha Chary Samboju at 301-851-2038 or [email protected].