“Absolute Doomsday Scenario": Canadian potato wart threat to U.S. industry

The recent potato wart outbreak in Canada is probably larger than first thought.

In a recent APHIS report, the group highlights a crisis of potato wart on Prince Edward Island, where there was a temporary ban against shipping into the U.S. until last year.
The National Potato Council says that there must be changes to how potatoes come into the U.S. in order to protect the industry.

The report justifies that previous ban.

According to NPC CEO Kam Quarles, “It caused a lot of havoc for the U.S. industry just in terms of a lot of the cross-border trade that has been done with PEI, but you have got to weigh that with the absolute doomsday scenario of potato wart getting into the U.S.”

He adds that the industry cannot let that happen: “We don’t have this disease. If we did have it, the impact across the U.S., and particularly for our export markets would be absolutely catastrophic. So, all options have got to be on the table.”

The National Potato Council says that current mitigation efforts for potato wart are not sufficient.