APHIS Makes Request of Canadian Testing Requirement

Published online: Dec 21, 2004 NPC
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In a letter sent last week to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, the U.S. Animal Plant Health Inspection Service requested the elimination of testing for Potato Spindle Tuber Viroid for the export of certified seed potatoes from the United States to Canada.

Canada's seed potato certification program has a zero tolerance for the PSTVd.

APHIS highlighted in the letter that a survey of all U.S. seed certification agencies indicated that no PSTVd incidents were documented in any of the state certification records from 1990 to 2000, nor were PSTVd's detected in the field surveys.

APHIS called for elimination of the testing requirement as U.S. seed potato certification agencies routinely test seed stocks for PSTVd at a number of certification levels starting with pre-nuclear seed potatoes in tissue culture, continuing with field-increased seed generations during the growing season and ending with post-harvest grow-out plots.

Based on the survey results and testing practices in the U.S., APHIS has determined that PSTVd is not present in any of the seed potato growing areas of the United States and requested in the letter that the Canadian requirement be eliminated.