Pest risk assessment made by France on Ralstonia sp. pathogenic agent of banana blood disease considered by France as harmful in French overseas departments of French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique and Réunion - Scientific Opinion of the Panel on Plant



  • Authors : EFSA Panel on Plant Health,

  • Document type : Journal article

  • Year of publication : 2008

  • Journal title : EFSA Journal

  • Number : 649


  • Pages : 1-23

  • Peer-reviewed : Yes

  • ISSN : 1831-4732

  • Language(s) : English

  • Abstract : Following a request from the European Commission, the Panel on Plant Health was asked to deliver a scientific opinion on 30 pest risk assessments made by France on organisms, which are considered by France as harmful in four French overseas departments of French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique and Réunion. In particular, the Panel was asked whether these organisms can be considered as harmful organisms for the endangered area of the above departments, in the meaning of the definition mentioned in Article 2.1.(e) of Directive 2000/29/EC and thus potentially eligible for addition to the list of harmful organisms in Directive 2000/29/EC. This document presents the opinion of the Panel on Plant Health on the simplified pest risk assessment conducted by France on "Ralstonia sp.bacterium responsible for banana blood disease" with French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique and Réunion considered as endangered area. Ralstonia sp. responsible for banana blood disease - also called blood disease bacterium (BDB) - is the causal agent in Indonesia of a lethal disease of dessert banana (Musa spp.), plantain (Musa spp.) and cooking banana, known as blood disease of banana. The Panel examined in detail the risk assessment provided, and considered the accuracy and quality of the information and methods applied for pest risk assessment purposes. The review was based on the principles and terminology of the International Standard on Phytosanitary Measures ISPM No. 11: Pest risk analysis for quarantine pests including analysis of environmental risks and living modified organisms (2004) by the International Plant Protection Convention (FAO, 2007). The Panel observes that: The pest risk assessment provides a very limited amount of information supported by scientific data to justify the conclusions reached. The probabilities of entry, establishment and spread and the potential impacts of BDB in the PRA area should have been assessed separately for each department, due to the differing importance of banana crops in each of the departments. Furthermore, the new situation in the PRA area, in case the current phytosanitary regulations governing the imports of banana plant material are lifted, should have been taken into account in the document. The entry pathways should have been considered and assessed in the document in terms of importance and risk, French Guiana, which is part of the PRA area in the document, is not mentioned in the assessor's general conclusion. The Panel concludes that: The identity of the pathogen can be defined as "Ralstonia sp. agent of banana blood disease", also called blood disease bacterium (BDB). Although the taxonomical position of the pathogen is not yet assigned by the International Committee on Taxonomy of Plant Pathogenic Bacteria, BDB can be identified by cultural and molecular methods. The entry of BDB into the French overseas departments through natural dispersal is not likely due to their great distance from the areas of the pathogen's present distribution. Under thecurrent regulations, the probability of entry of BDB on Musa (and ornamental Heliconia if proven a natural host) plant propagation material (other than vitroplants), banana fruit and soil would be low for French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique and Réunion due to the import restrictions. Should the current regulations governing the imports of banana plant material be lifted, the probability of entry of BDB on Musa (and ornamental Heliconia if proven a natural host) plant propagation material (other than vitroplants), banana fruit and soil would be moderate. The probability of BDB entering the PRA area on vitroplants would be very low, as such production systems are characterised by high sanitation practices that ensure pathogen-free propagation material, provided that mother plants are carefully screened prior to collection of material for in vitro multiplication. The probability of establishment and spread, should BDB gain entry into the PRA area, would be high, given that most of the endangered area has a climate similar to that of the pathogen's present distribution, and that Musa host plants are present in the PRA area. Within commercial plantations of bananas the disease effects could be mitigated by existing practices of de-budding and bagging of male flowers. However, additional routine sanitation measures would be necessary at extra costs. With the possibility of continuous re-infestation from the environment, the production costs would be structurally increased. The additional control costs may reduce the competitiveness of the banana industry in Guadeloupe and Martinique. As a result, employment may be reduced causing negative social impacts. There is uncertainty regarding the level of the cost increase. Plantain and other cooking bananas are an important staple food and a large fraction is household-produced. Since the disease is likely not to be readily controllable in smallholdings and family gardens, high yield losses and a potential disruption of subsistence production and consumption patterns would occur. This may also cause negative social impacts. There is uncertainty regarding the availability and the costs of substitution foods, should the yield of cooking banana and plantain be substantially reduced. Similar effects are envisaged for Guiana, where the banana crop is an element of shifting cultivation. Uncertainties of a moderate degree are related to the (i) host range of BDB, in particular the clarification of the status of Heliconia as a natural host (ii) the flower characteristics (bract dehiscence, sugar content of male flowers) of the banana cultivars grown in the French overseas departments, that may influence the spread by insects of BDB, (iii) the ability of the BDB to spread in the environment from fruit waste, (iv) the level of cost increase due to routine sanitation practices in commercial banana plantations, in case of BDB introduction, (v) the availability and the costs of substitution foods, should the yield of cooking banana and plantain be substantially reduced by the BDB introduction, (vi) the potential environmental impact (e.g. soil erosion, changes in biodiversity, etc) of the BDB in the PRA area. The Panel, based on the information provided in the document and on additional literature consulted, concludes that BDB is appropriate for evaluation of pest risk management options for the endangered areas of Guadeloupe, Martinique and Réunion as stated in the conclusion of the document, and the panel reaches the same conclusion for French Guiana. Therefore, the panel concludes that BDB is potentially eligible for addition to the list of harmful organisms in Directive 2000/29/EC for all French overseas departments.

  • Keywords : BLOOD BACTERIAL WILT; RALSTONIA SOLANACEARUM; FRANCE; GUADELOUPE; MARTINIQUE; FRENCH GUIANA; REUNION; PEST RISK ANALYSIS

  • Open access : Yes

  • Document on publisher's site : open View article on publisher's site

  • Musalit document ID : IN150017


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