The European Commission (EC)’s previous restrictions on Egyptian potato imports are being re-instated on December 13. The measures prohibit import into the EC of potatoes from the Republic’s 2002/03 crops unless detailed requirements have been met, reported the UK’s Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).
The prohibition was first introduced in 1996, relating to findings of potato brown rot, a serious bacterial disease that can make infected potatoes unusable, in produce from Egypt. The disease has no known implications for human health.
The UK, like all member states, must inspect all imported consignments and test samples for brown rot. Existing controls on the disposal of waste from packing and processing are maintained, to prevent further spreading of potato brown rot from any possible latent infection.
Imported consignments into England will be inspected and samples tested for latent brown rot infection. Similar legislation is being introduced in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Traces of latent brown rot infection were found in one lot representing around 0.1 percent of the 17,400 tons of Egyptian potatoes imported into the UK during the 2001/02 season. The potatoes concerned were destroyed. — (menareport.com)
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