THE REJECT history of imported seed potatoes linked to the UK ring rot outbreak has prompted fresh calls for tighter testing procedures and traceability.
The Provento seed, imported by Welsh grower John Morgan in April 2003, was originally sent to Honduras, but was rejected due to soil contamination.
But Agrico, the Dutch seed company, has admitted it did not reveal the chequered history of the seed until after the ring out outbreak was discovered in November 2003.
“How many other seed lots go on this global merry-go-round before being dumped in the UK?” demanded NFU potato chairman Graham Nichols.
“It‘s putting our businesses in severe risk. We have a right to be informed of what has happened to seed before we receive it.”
But both the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and Agrico have claimed correct procedures were followed and UK growers were not put at risk.
More on this story can be found in Friday‘s (May 14) issue of FARMERS WEEKLY.
Our Keep British Crops Healthy campaign page has more information on the plight of growers battling notifiable pests or diseases.
There are also links to find out more about existing outbreaks and those that could be just round the corner.