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P.E.I. seed potatoes cleared for export to U.S. after no more wart found

CFIA says export certification resumes after no further positive tests for potato wart.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has lifted its voluntary suspension of export certification for P.E.I. seed potatoes, allowing trade to the United States to resume.

The suspension was lifted as of March 11, 2021, the agency said in a statement emailed to CBC News.

CFIA said the move followed 'technical discussions with the U.S.' when its testing revealed no more cases of potato wart in Prince Edward Island fields, after two samples from fields on the same farm in Queens County tested positive in October.

'All seed potatoes for export to the U.S. from Canada must continue to meet U.S. import requirements,' the agency's email noted.

The P.E.I. Potato Board confirms there have already been shipments of seed potatoes from P.E.I. to the U.S. since the CFIA announcement.

Potato wart poses no risk to humans or food safety, but infected potatoes become disfigured and unsuitable for sale. It can also prevent tubers from being produced as plants grow.

Exports are halted when it is detected because it can be spread through the movement of infected tubers, as well as through the transfer of soil and the actions of farm equipment.