9 February 1996

No ban despite brown rot fear

GOVERNMENT is not prepared to impose a temporary ban on Dutch seed potatoes, despite UK producers fears over brown rot.

Junior farm minister, Tim Boswell, told the commons that measures already implemented, to test potatoes at their point of entry to the UK, were appropriate to the risk the disease posed.

"One consignment of Dutch seed potatoes into the UK was found to have evidence of brown rot – although the diagnosis has not yet been confirmed – and that raises the question of the validity of the Dutch tests," said Mr Boswell. But he added that the Dutch tests did comply with EU requirements.