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InvestmentsCanada halts potato exports to U.S. from Prince Edward Island due to...

Canada halts potato exports to U.S. from Prince Edward Island due to fungus By Reuters

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© Reuters. A U.S. and a Canadian flag flutter on the Canada-United States border crossing on the Thousand Islands Bridge, which stays closed to non-essential visitors to fight the unfold of the coronavirus illness (COVID-19) in Lansdowne, Ontario, Canada September

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By Rod Nickel

WINNIPEG, Manitoba (Reuters) – Canada has halted exports of contemporary potatoes from Prince Edward Island (PEI) to the United States, going through a risk from the U.S. to ban the shipments itself over considerations concerning the potato wart fungus, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency mentioned on Monday.

The company (CFIA) confirmed the fungus in excessive ranges on two PEI farms in October, the primary in 21 years within the province. Potato wart can lower crop yields however poses no risk to human well being or meals security, the CFIA mentioned.

PEI, the smallest Canadian province, is the third-largest potato-producing province after Manitoba and Alberta, rising about 20% of the nationwide harvest in 2020, in accordance to Statistics Canada. The crop is value greater than C$1 billion ($788 million) yearly to the province’s economic system, in accordance to the Prince Edward Island Potato Board.

Canada halted motion of PEI seed potatoes to the United States on Nov. 2. The United States notified Canada, nevertheless, that it will ban all imports of PEI contemporary potatoes until Canada took additional motion.

In response, Canada additionally suspended exports of contemporary PEI potatoes, together with potatoes for desk use and processing, to the United States. The determination doesn’t apply to processed merchandise.

Fresh potatoes can nonetheless transfer to different Canadian provinces, mentioned David Bailey, Canada’s appearing chief plant well being officer.

The state of affairs highlights a distinction of opinion between the United States and Canada over the risk the fungus poses.

Canada’s new security measures, reminiscent of brushing and washing potatoes to take away soil, makes the chance negligible, Bailey mentioned on a convention name.

“The Americans feel the risk is too high for them.”

Potato wart was beforehand detected within the United States, however has since been eradicated, in accordance to CFIA.

Canadian Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau mentioned she had raised the difficulty with U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and would work to restore commerce entry.

($1 = 1.2683 Canadian {dollars})

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