The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has awarded a grant as part of a 2020 challenge that began in 2020 to develop a phytosanitary treatment for the control of quarantine plant pests that could destroy our forests or food crops.
“Protecting Canada’s plant resources helps to maintain food security and environmental sustainability, and supports continued economic growth. The CFIA is excited about the potential of high pressure processing, an innovative concept for managing the risk associated with quarantine pests,” said William Anderson, chief plant health pfficer for Canada.
“If successful, this innovation could provide a more effective option to control plant pests of concern to Canada, including those that spread via trade pathways such as cargo and containers.”
As part of the challenge, CFIA is providing a $150,000 grant to HPP West Coast Facility, in Port Coquitlam, British Columbia, to develop a high pressure processing (HPP) technology that could safely control plant pests that are regulated and/or of quarantine significance in Canada to support industry in exporting products to international markets.
Plant pests, including insects, pathogens and weeds, are responsible for diminished yields and market access issues that contribute to economic losses for Canadian producers and other businesses along agriculture and forestry supply chains. Safeguarding plant health is imperative to maintaining food security, environmental sustainability and public health, and to support continued economic growth.
There is a need to leverage existing theoretical knowledge to develop cost-effective pest risk mitigation approaches that are comparable to the desirable properties of methyl bromide, but with fewer negative impacts, to support plant health stakeholders in meeting phytosanitary requirements.
Methyl bromide is a highly effective broad-spectrum treatment that can be applied to cargo, commodities, soil, and other plant and non-plant products to manage a range of pests and meet international phytosanitary requirements. However, it is currently undergoing phase-out worldwide due to its ozone-depleting properties, the CFIA notes on its website.