Potato wart not detected in 2022 national survey


March 13, 2023 – Ottawa, Ontario

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has completed its 2022 national survey for potato wart and confirms that potato wart was not detected in the soil samples tested from the fields where the samples were collected. The survey included fields in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia. The national survey for potato wart involved collecting and testing nearly 1500 soil samples from seed potato fields. One criterion included in field selection was farms that had previously sourced seed potatoes from Prince Edward Island (PEI).

This survey is an important step in the Government of Canada's efforts to help contain and control the spread of potato wart and reassure domestic and international trading partners. The survey results have been provided to the United States Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA APHIS) and the Canadian Potato Council. Science will continue to inform the CFIA's evidence-based decision-making in managing potato wart.

Monitoring for potato wart across the country is an important part of mitigating risk and ensuring that current outbreaks remain contained and controlled. Activities, such as the national survey for potato wart, and other ongoing investigations related to potato wart, demonstrate the CFIA's continuing commitment to the important potato industry, which is the fifth-largest primary agriculture crop in Canada.

Quick facts

  • Potato wart is an extremely persistent fungus in soil that may reduce yield and potato tuber quality on farms. It can spread through the movement of soil, farm equipment, and potatoes from fields that have potato wart. As a pest regulated under the Plant Protection Act, its detection triggers measures to help contain and control the disease and prevent its spread. Potato wart poses no threat to human health.
  • As part of the 2022 national potato wart survey, nearly 1500 soil samples were collected from 77 fields across the country, excluding Newfoundland and Labrador, and PEI. No potato wart pathogen (Synchytrium endobioticum) was detected in any of the samples submitted as part of this survey.
  • The number of soil samples collected and analysed for potato wart fluctuates year to year based on identified export samples, the requirements of investigations, and follow-up surveillance under the Potato Wart Domestic Long Term Management Plan.

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Canadian Food Inspection Agency

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The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) touches the lives of all Canadians in so many positive ways. Each day, hard-working CFIA employees–including inspectors, veterinarians and scientists–inspect food for safety risks, protect plants from pests and invasive species, and respond to animal diseases that could threaten Canada's national herd and human health. Guided by science-based decision-making and modern regulations, the Agency works tirelessly to ensure access to safe and healthy food in Canada, and support access to international markets for our high-quality agricultural products. To learn more, visit inspection.canada.ca.

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