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U.S. avoids closing border to Island spuds

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. - The Canadian Food Inspection Agency says its U.S. counterparts inspected two Island potato fields and are satisfied that the wart virus outbreak has been contained.It is now un...


CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. – The Canadian Food Inspection Agency says its U.S. counterparts inspected two Island potato fields and are satisfied that the wart virus outbreak has been contained.

It is now unlikely that potatoes will be stopped at the border and U.S food inspectors don’t anticipate a ban on Island crops.

Inspectors found two cases of potato wart in the province in recent weeks, arousing fears the U.S. would again close the border and throw the industry into chaos as it did two years ago.

The plagued fields were found on Freetown land about 10km from a field that was previously diagnosed with the bacteria during the 2000 outbreak.

Officials from the U.S. Department of Agriculture assured Canadian colleagues that the three-year plan created in 2000 to prevent the spread of the virus will be implemented this time around as well.

It is thought that the virus was transferred from farm equipment that may have been used on fields in the original occurance. The fields have been quarantined and a half-kilometre buffer zone has been established to restrict the movement of potatoes and soil from the area.


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