PEI potato logo

Food Tampering Reward raised to $500,000 for tips received before August 15th, 2015

(CHARLOTTETOWN, PE  -  June 29, 2015)  There have been no arrests to-date in the case of food tampering involving the deliberate insertion of metal objects into potatoes.  The potatoes were destined for human consumption and the local industry remains concerned about the effect cowardly acts such as this have on the confidence of consumers in the food supply.  
 
For this reason, the potato industry in Prince Edward Island has opted to increase the value of the reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the individual or individuals responsible up to $500,000 until August 15th, 2015.  Tips received from August 16th until October 31st, 2015 will be eligible for the previously announced amount of up to $100,000. Anonymous tips are eligible for the reward.
 
Alex Docherty, Chair of the Prince Edward Island Potato Board, notes “We have had tremendous support from the grower community in an effort to identify the person or persons responsible for recent cases of food tampering.  However, the scope of the investigation has widened in recent weeks, and recent incidents of food tampering involving Prince Edward Island potatoes have led our industry to increase the profile of this reward in order to maximize the chance that those responsible will be brought to justice.”
 
The purchase and installation of foreign material detection equipment by Prince Edward Island potato growers and packers is expected to cost well in excess of $5 million, and potato farm operations affected by food tampering have already faced a significant financial burden in terms of product that had to be destroyed, market disruption and lost productivity.  The industry appreciates the recent financial contributions by the federal and provincial governments towards the purchase of detection equipment, as this shows that they also take this threat to public safety seriously.  None of the recently announced funding will be used toward this reward fund.
 
Anyone knowing the individual or individuals involved, or who has information that would assist police in this investigation, can provide information anonymously to Crime Stoppers.  Information may be provided to Crime Stoppers by:

•         phone 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS)
•         via the web at www.peicrimestoppers.com, or 
•         by text Text “TIP162” plus your message to 274637 (CRIMES). 
 
If they do not wish to remain anonymous, persons may contact the Prince Edward Island RCMP toll-free at 1-844-592-2774.  Alternatively, an email can be sent to graeme.shaw@rcmp-grc.gc.ca and an investigator will respond.
 
Prince Edward Island Potatoes are world renowned for the great taste and quality that comes from growing in the unique red soil of PEI.   The Prince Edward Island Potato Board is a producer-controlled organization dedicated to supporting the highest performance of an economically and environmentally sustainable potato industry.  The potato industry is worth over $1 billion to the Prince Edward Island economy each year.