Published online: Feb 12, 2007 NPC Insider Report
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USDA's Animal Plant Health Inspection Service announced that Japan has reopened its market to U.S. chipping potatoes following the completion of a scientific evaluation.

Japan temporarily suspended U.S. imports of all varieties of chipping potatoes April 2006 immediately following the first U.S. detection of potato cyst nematode, Globodera pallida, in Idaho.

After conducting a detailed scientific evaluation, Japanese officials concluded that the isolated detection presents no risk of introducing PCN in Japan if the United States takes the following actions:

-The potatoes may only shipped from these designated states: Arizona, Wisconsin, Oregon, California, Colorado, Texas, New Mexico, North Dakota, Florida, Michigan, Minnesota, Maine and Washington;

-The potato fields must be tested and certified to be free of PCN prior to export; and

-The potatoes must be washed before exporting.

Before Idaho is eligible to export chipping potatoes to Japan, the state must complete a comprehensive PCN survey. Currently, all U.S. chipping potatoes exported to Japan must be grown from seed potatoes produced outside of Idaho. APHIS will continue to work with Idaho and Japan to allow for the export of chipping potatoes from Idaho.

The U.S. potato industry estimates that chipping potato exports to Japan will approach $2 million within the next three years.