We all know how famous the Idaho Potato is. Everyone loves potatoes from Idaho, whether around our state, country, or worldwide. However, one country is saying a LOUD no to importing Idaho Potatoes. Their opposition to the Gem State Spud is so massive that authorities within our government have pledged to power the potato through this country's opposition. 

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The Idaho Capital Sun first reported that Japan would not accept fresh Idaho Potatoes. They are worried our potatoes have pests or insects that would harm the island nation. Japan does buy a lot of Idaho frozen potatoes. 

The Japanese opposition has resulted in 31 members of Congress, along with our Congressional Delegation, Congressman Russ Fulcher, Senator Jim Risch, Senator Mike Crapo, and Congressman Mike Simpson, sending a letter the Secretary of Agriculture Thomas Vilsack seeking his help in liberating Japan from their Idaho potato blockade. 

In the letter from members of Congress, "Table stock access to Japan was first requested almost 30 years ago. It was elevated to a top priority in U.S.-Japan plant health negotiations in September 2019. However, despite the efforts of USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Japan continues to delay substantive negotiations on table stock access, including with respect to our most recent request for Japan to provide a Pest Risk Assessment (PRA). "

You can read the entire letter here. Other countries like Mexico have happily bought massive amounts of Idaho Potatoes without any incidents of pests or other problems. Gem State farmers could rake in millions of dollars if the Japanese market allows Idaho Potatoes. We'll continue to update you on this story as it develops.

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