Canada’s agriculture minister says the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s suspension of exporting fresh P.E.I. potatoes to the U.S. should be temporary.
The inspection agency said Monday the suspension was put in place to contain a spread of potato warts.
“The U.S. notified Canada that they would impose a Federal Order banning all imports of fresh potatoes from P.E.I. for an undetermined period of time, unless Canada takes voluntary action immediately,” read a statement from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.
Potato warts are a fungus that can diminish a crop’s yield but, the agency says, do not pose a threat to human health.
Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau told CTV’s Power Play Monday that she spoke U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack “three times this week.”
“I see that he is talking about a temporary ban and that he’s open for scientific based discussions,” she told host Evan Solomon.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s Charlottetown Laboratory says it confirmed the presence of potato wart on two farms.
Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau talks about the federal response to the PEI potato ban in the video at the top of this article.