Canada Joins U.S. Action Against Pest
by Dan Flynn
Feb 18, 2010,
The Food Safety News, Marler Clarke
Starting next Wednesday, Canada will join the United States in imposing
new import requirements for tomatoes so its distributors can continue to
export to the U.S.
At issue is a small moth that cut production, but generally speaking
does not create a food safety problem.
Tomatoes imported from countries where tomato leafminer (Tuta absoluta)
is a problem will have to be accompanied by phytosanitary certificates
that the guarantee they were inspected and found free of tomato
This is similar to the Federal Import Quarantine Order for tomato
leafminer issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture last Dec. 24. It
became effective on Feb. 1.
Canada's requirements will be in place until the Canadian Food
Inspection Agency (CFIA) can develop more permanent measures.
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.
USDA is requiring that tomatoes from the following countries 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
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
Industry plays an important role in mitigating the risk of introducing
this pest to Canada.
CFIA says tomatoes imported from countries where tomato leafminer is
known to occur should not be brought into the vicinity of production
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.