The Idaho Potato Commission has been working with the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and the Idaho Department of Agriculture with the recent find of Potato Cyst Nematode in Idaho.
This nematode poses no threat to human health, and is only a threat to potato yields. Only two PCN specimens were found in 10,000 soil samples collected during the past three years.
"The Idaho industry is very fortunate for the extremely early stage in which the Potato Cyst Nematode was discovered," said Frank Muir, president of the IPC. "There is no evidence that Idaho yields have been or will be impacted because of this pest."
The level of APHIS confidence in the early stage of the find is evident in that only 500 acres have been quarantined in the state. Muir commends the effort and response of agencies, researchers and industry officials in managing this threat.
"The Mexico, Canada and Japan border closures to the Idaho industry with this news is not a surprising action," Muir continued. "Inspectors from each of these trade partners have been invited to take part in further inspections and investigations. I am confident they will see how well this issue has been handled."
Muir also said the reason why the PCN was discovered in such a timely manner is because the state and industry sampling and testing has been extremely thorough. Nematologists have spent years testing for PCN in Idaho.
APHIS was duly impressed with the level of research and the manner in which the discovery was reported. They were informed as soon as the find had been identified.
Consumers can rest assured of the safety of the Idaho potato. "We are so proud of this crop and will continue to perform aggressive surveillance to ensure its protection," Muir said. "Idaho will aggressively attack this pest and get rid of it."