Aug 31, 2022
U.S., Canada agree to coordinate responses to plant health threats

U.S. and Canadian agriculture officials recently signed a bilateral agreement to enhance coordination of plant protection activities on both sides of the border.

Mark Davidson, deputy administrator for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Plant Protection and Quarantine, met with officials from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, including Kathleen Donohue, vice president of its international affairs branch, and David Bailey, acting executive director of the Plant Health and Biosecurity Directorate. They discussed plant health threats of interest to both countries.

The bilateral agreement – the U.S.-Canada Coordinated Phytosanitary Mitigation Framework – is to enhance coordination and collaboration to address those common threats.

“The framework will further increase U.S.-Canada cooperation to safeguard farms, forests, and more against invasive plant pests – on both sides of our shared border,” Davidson said.

The framework will help both countries optimize their mutual authorities to target invasive plant pests of mutual concern, including potato wart, box tree moth, European cherry fruit fly and plum pox virus. Its approach supports a key International Plant Protection Convention strategic objective: protecting sustainable agriculture and enhancing global food security through the prevention of pest spread.

“This agreement further strengthens our longstanding relationship with the USDA-APHIS(Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service) and our efforts in preventing the introduction and spread of invasive pests across our borders,” Bailey said. “The introduction of foreign plant pests can be devastating to our forests, agriculture and natural environment and have negative impacts on the people, industries, and economy that depend on those sectors. By cooperating in the fight against invasive species, both of our countries will benefit. I look forward to working together to put this framework into action.”

Signing the framework is just the beginning, Davidson said.

“We are eager to create the action plans that will build out the framework in the coming months,” he said. “This will enhance plant protection on both sides of the border, benefiting our farms, natural ecosystems, and economies.”


PHOTO: Mark Davidson (left), USDA deputy administrator for Plant Protection and Quarantine, and David Bailey, acting executive director of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, sign the U.S.-Canada Coordinated Phytosanitary Mitigation Framework. Photo: CFIA.

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