Federal government invests $1.5 million in metal detection gear for potatoes


Hall of Fame Member
Oct 26, 2009
Federal government invests $1.5 million in metal detection gear for potatoes
First posted: Monday, June 22, 2015 01:02 PM EDT | Updated: Monday, June 22, 2015 03:20 PM EDT
CHARLOTTETOWN -- The federal government says it will spend $1.5 million to buy metal detection equipment to help find foreign objects in P.E.I. potatoes, a persistent problem that first attracted police attention more than eight months ago.
Fisheries Minister Gail Shea, MP for the Island riding of Egmont, made the announcement Monday in Charlottetown.
The funding will be used to purchase and install detection equipment, while an extra $500,000 from the province will be used for on-site security assessments and training.
There have been several cases of metal objects being found in potatoes in Atlantic Canada, with most coming from a farm in P.E.I.
Police are investigating cases of metal objects found in potatoes sold in grocery stores in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has been supporting an ongoing investigation by the RCMP.
"P.E.I.'s potato industry plays an important role in our Island's economy," Shea said in a statement.
"Our government recognizes the financial burden on farmers, packers and the overall industry this unlawful activity has created and we are pleased to respond with significant financial assistance."
P.E.I. Agriculture Minister Alan McIsaac said there's a concern that a lack of consumer confidence could have significant impact on potato sales.
"This additional funding will help ensure that our province's potato industry can move forward from these malicious and criminal acts," he said in a statement.
The minister said potatoes represent the Island's single largest agriculture commodity in terms of farm cash receipts at about $250 million annually over the past five years.
Alex Docherty, chairman of the P.E.I. Potato Board, said farms that have been affected by food tampering have incurred losses of more than $1 million.
Police in P.E.I. investigated food-tampering after consumers found sewing needles in potatoes sold across Atlantic Canada in 2014. (RCMP Photo)

Federal government invests $1.5 million in metal detection gear for potatoes | C


rigid member
May 31, 2007

of course, it could narrow down the culprit/s, but nothing short of installing cameras in all the little potato "eyes" will catch them.

but who wants to bite into one of those, eh?