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Tomato leafminer precautions urged by CFIA


February 17, 2010
By Dave Harrison


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Feb . 17, 2010, Ottawa – Effective Feb. 24, tomatoes
entering Canada from countries where tomato leafminer (Tuta absoluta) is known
to occur will have to meet new interim requirements.


 

Feb . 17, 2010, Ottawa – Effective Feb. 24, tomatoes
entering Canada from countries where tomato leafminer (Tuta absoluta) is known
to occur will have to meet new interim requirements. Tomato shipments will have
to be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate with a declaration that the
tomatoes originated from a place where tomato leafminer does not occur and were
inspected and found free of tomato leafminer.

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These requirements will be in place until more permanent
measures can be developed by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).

Concurrently, the United States (U.S) has enforced new
import requirements for tomatoes. Effective February 1, 2010, tomatoes imported
to Canada from countries infested with tomato leafminer are not allowed entry
into the U.S., unless they have met additional import requirements set by the
U.S.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is
requiring that tomatoes from the following countries must meet special
requirements in order to enter the U.S.: Albania, Algeria, Argentina, Bolivia,
Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, France, Greece, Italy, Morocco, Netherlands,
Paraguay, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, Tunisia, Uruguay, and Venezuela. These
requirements include a phytosanitary certificate and either:

• A declaration that the tomatoes are grown in an area free
from tomato leafminer or,

• A declaration that the tomatoes were grown in accordance
with a U.S. systems approach and have been inspected and are free of the pest.

Products will not be allowed entry into the U.S. if they
have been imported into Canada from the above-mentioned countries, and they do
not meet these U.S. import requirements.

The new U.S. import requirements also prohibit the entry of
host plants of tomato leafminer for planting (for example, Solanum spp., Datura
spp.
and Nicotiana spp.) from affected countries, until a Pest Risk Analysis is
completed and appropriate mitigation measures are implemented.

Tomato leafminer is a small moth that primarily attacks
tomato crops. It has also been reported on potato, aubergine and common beans.
In many countries, tomato leafminer is considered a key insect pest because it
is capable of severely damaging tomato production. The pest cannot survive
Canadian winters but it poses a high risk to greenhouse tomato cultivation in
Canada and to export trade with the U.S.

Industry plays an important role in mitigating the risk of
introducing this pest to Canada. Tomatoes imported from countries where tomato
leafminer is known to occur should not be brought into the vicinity of
production greenhouses.

The CFIA will continue to work closely with industry to meet
the new U.S. import requirements, so that Canadian importers can continue to
re-export tomatoes to the U.S.