Federal agriculture minister goes to Washington on PEI potato trade issue

Federal agriculture minister Marie-Claude Bibeau was in Washington Thursday to try and resolve a potato trade issue with her U.S. counterpart.

Bibeau urged U.S. agriculture secretary Tom Vilsack to proceed as quickly as possible with the risk analysis of exporting Prince Edward Island table stock potatoes to the U.S.

Canada put a halt to potato shipments because of a disease called potato wart in a couple of fields in PEI, fearing a U.S. shutdown.

Bibeau stressed the urgency of restoring market access for PEI potatoes and stressed the safety of potatoes with current risk mitigation measures in place, such as ensuring potatoes are cleaned, treated with a sprout inhibitor and sourced from non-restricted fields.

Secretary Vilsack expressed understanding and the importance of a science-based approach to resolving the issue.

He promised a quick review.

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