BRR Ruling Expected Soon In Canada

Published online: Sep 22, 2004
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According to the Washington State Potato Commission, a ruling on the effort to get Canadian Food Inspection Agency records on a bacterial ring rot outbreak in Alberta should be given by the Alberta Provincial Court in Lethbridge in the next few weeks.

WSPC's counsel presented final arguments for the release of the documents in the Growers of Alberta lawsuit to the CFIA to block the release of the findings.

The purpose of PGA's lawsuit was to stop CFIA from releasing documents to the WSPC relating to the investigations of an Alberta seed potato grower's farm.

PGA claims that public interest immunity applies to all CFIA documents and protects the country from damage to national security and international relations caused by disclosure of state secrets.

WSPC legal counsel countered that bacterial ring rot investigation evidence is not a state secret and would not damage Canadian national security and international relations.

WSPC wants the records to obtain objective information about the extent of BRR in Alberta so they can make informed decisions concerning seed potatoes from there, said Pat Boss, WSPC executive director.

One Washington potato grower has filed a suit against a Canadian seed supplier because of bacterial ring rot infestation in his crop.

A written decison is expected from the judge in the immediate future.