15 January 2001
Border dispute, warts and all

By FWi staff

A CROSS-BORDER dispute is raging after the USA banned imports of “warty” potatoes from Canadas Prince Edward Island (PEI).

US officials fear that the warts, which are caused by a fungus and are harmless to humans, could contaminate its potatoes, rendering them unmarketable.

But Canadian officials argue that there is no scientific basis for the ban, saying the outbreak has been controlled and most potatoes are unaffected.

Canada believes the USA is trying to uphold the ban to protect US farmers trying to cope with low prices after a record potato crop.

PEI depends heavily on potato exports, and its economy has been hit badly by the ban, reports the Financial Times.

  • Financial Times 15 January, 2001 page 11