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Detection of Brown Rot in Irish potatoes

The Department of Agriculture of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food has confirmed the detection of Brown Rot in potatoes grown in Ireland.

Brown Rot is caused by the bacterium Ralstonia Solanacearum and results in yield losses in host plants and the rotting of tubers. The disease poses no risk to human or animal health. The handling of this disease is governed by EU legislation which is being followed by the Department in this case.

The disease was detected initially in water samples taken as part of the Department's routine control programme at a potato packing premises and traced back to a farmer supplier. All potato stocks on the farm were sampled and to date there is one confirmed positive. In addition, related potato samples from two potato packing plants have been confirmed positive.

Holding notices have been issued to the grower and to the packers involved to prevent movement of potentially infected stocks. All stocks have been isolated under Department supervision pending the taking of the appropriate disposal action.

The normal source of infection for Brown Rot is infected seed or through infected water. As part of the further investigation, extensive sampling and testing by the Department of possible linked sources of infection is on- going. The Department will work closely with the potato industry to ensure that this outbreak is brought under control.

For further information on Brown Rot please see the Department's website: http://www.agriculture.gov.ie/index.jsp?file=areasofi/BrownRot.xml

2 October 2007

Date Released: 02 October 2007