Another Suit Filed In Canadian BRR Case

Published online: Jul 09, 2004
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Six Alberta, Canada, seed potato growers have filed suit in Canadian Federal Court to block the Canadian Food Inspection Agency from releasing records about a bacterial ring rot outbreak in Alberta.

This suit follows a separate lawsuit by Potato Growers of Alberta to also suppress information about BRR in Canada.

The six ask the federal court to withhold certification seed inspection records from release for a case pending in the state of Washington over BRR findings in Alberta seed.

Ochoa Ag Unlimited of Washington state has sought the inspection records dealing with specific Canadian seed potateos purchased for Ochoa's 2003 crop.

Ochoa alleges that seed from an Alberta farm was infected with bacterial ring rot. Ochoa seeks damages of $10 million.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency indicated by correspondence addressed to each of the applicants about June 15 that records held by CFIA connected with each applicant's seed potatoes were to be released to Ochoa. The Alberta seed farm was given 20 days from the date of notice to request a review of the decison.

Potato Growers of Alberta filed suit to block release of the CFIA inspection reports in the Ochoa case about June 23. The PGA seeks an order by July 21 declaring that public interest immunity applies to all documents and evidence in the possession of the CFIA as requested by Ochoa and contents which relate to the specific Alberta seed farm and its shareholders

The second suit seeks to block the information release of growers whose crops may have been infected with BRR, the specific farm or any other issue whch relates to any action of the CFIA its employees, agents or representatives.

This means the practice, enforcement or administration of the Canadian standards, the analysis of the Canadian standards, the analysis of the practice, enforcement or administration of the Canadian standards, investigations, and results of the foregoing.

In addition, such documents and evidence shall not be used or provided for use in the Washington state case or any other foreign litigation, arbitration, judicial or quasi-judicial proceeds.

Also sought is an order enjoing any person receivng any such documents or evidence from CFIA from using that evidence in the Washington case or any other foreign litigation with leave of the Alberta Court of Queen's Bench.

The suit was filed by Sugimoto and Company, barristers and solicitors of Calgary, Canada, on June 30.