§ Sir C. Osborne
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he is aware that a shipment of potatoes from Cyprus to Grimsby is diseased with tuber moth, a pest not found in Britain; who imported them; what is to happen to them; in view of the danger to the 115,000 acres of Lincolnshire potato-growing land, if he will take steps to prohibit further imports from the same source; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Hoy
Tuber moth was found by one of my Department's inspectors in a small part of a shipment of new potatoes imported at Grimsby from Cyprus. The potatoes were imported by a number of firms. In the major part of the shipment the plant health risk from tuber moth was considered to be negligible and the distribution of the potatoes was allowed.
A notice has been served in respect of that part of the shipment considered to be a plant health risk preventing its distribution until the potatoes have been satisfactorily fumigated to kill the moth. Fumigation is being carried out at present and the potatoes are being reinspected before release. The plant health risk from this consignment would not justify a prohibition on imports from Cyprus but the Plant Health Inspectorate will of course continue to carry out checks on potatoes imported from this and other sources to prevent the distribution of consignments infested with tuber moth or otherwise infested or diseased.