We have just learned that USDA APHIS has closed the US Border to seed potatoes from the following Canadian Provinces: Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Saskatchewan, and The Island of Newfoundland. Some of these provinces were previously closed. To see this information on the APHIS website, follow these instructions:
The online version of the Canadian Border Agricultural Clearance Manual has been revised to include updated requirements for the importation of seed potatoes.
Revisions are on the following page:
Chapter 3: Plant: Page 3-3.
To access the electronic version of the manual, go to:
The background of this decision is as follows. APHIS recently sent a team to Alberta to review the progress being made in delimiting, tracing forward and tracing back from the two farming units where PCN (Golden) was found in Alberta.
The audit team found that sampling on Farm Unit 1 was completed on 51 of 52 fields but only 9.1 percent of the samples had been analyzed. On Farm Unit 2, 27 of 30 regulated fields has been sampled, but only 30 percent of those samples had been processed.
In addition, CFIA has prioritized processing samples intended for export instead of samples that are part of the trace forward/trace back from the two Alberta Farm Units in question.
There were other concerns identified as well, such as CFIA's interpretation of the May agreement between the two countries. It appears that the Provinces identified are those that have previously had a PCN find or received seed from the two Farm Units in Alberta.
We will keep you posted on developments, and hope that further actions on this issue will be based on sound science.