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Idaho potato lawsuit against feds stalls

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Posted at 11:06 AM, Mar 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-22 13:06:23-04

BOISE, Idaho (AP) -- A federal judge has denied a request by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to dismiss a lawsuit by eastern Idaho potato growers seeking to end a quarantine after the discovery of a microscopic pest that caused some countries to ban Idaho spuds.

But the U.S. District Court ruling earlier this month did dismiss Idaho officials from the lawsuit, noting state court was the proper venue concerning potential violations of state law.

Ten potato growers and a shipper filed the lawsuit last year citing state's rights in arguing that the federal government is illegally imposing regulations in Idaho.

The discovery of the pale cyst nematode in 2006 was the first detection of the pest in the United States, and authorities have been trying to eradicate it ever since.