Pest risk assessment made by France on Ralstonia solanacearum race 2 considered by France as harmful in French overseas departments of French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique and Réunion - Scientific Opinion of the Panel on Plant Health



  • Authors : EFSA Panel on Plant Health,

  • Document type : Journal article

  • Year of publication : 2008

  • Journal title : EFSA Journal

  • Number : 673


  • Pages : 1-27

  • 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, i.e. 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 full pest risk assessment conducted by France on Ralstonia solanacearum race 2 with French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique and Réunion considered as endangered area. Ralstonia solanacearum (Smith, 1896) Yabuuchi et al., 1996 race 2 is the causal agent of a lethal disease of dessert banana (Musa spp.), plantain (Musa spp.) and Heliconia spp. plants known as Moko bacterial wilt. It is also the cause of a fruit rot of the cooking banana cultivars 'Cardaba' and 'Saba' (ABB genome) in the Philippines known as bugtok or tapurok. The Panel examined in detail the risk assessment provided, and considered the accuracy and quality of the information provided 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, 2007b). The Panel observes that: The pest risk assessment does not provide sufficient information to justify the conclusions reached. Specific statements and background information, though accurate, are not substantiated by scientific evidence and no references are provided on these aspects. Moreover, a number of estimates in Part 2 (pest risk assessment) are not justified or substantiated by the information provided in Part 1 of the document. The probabilities of entry, establishment and spread and the potential impacts of R. solanacearum race 2 in the PRA area should have been assessed separately for each of the French overseas departments, due to their specificities related to their geographic location and the differing importance of the host plants 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. In addition to the conventional banana plant propagation material and the vitroplants pathways assessed in the document, the movement of ornamental Heliconia plants and plant parts, of banana fruit and soil, the private individuals carrying infected plant material and the natural spread via insects, birds, etc. pathways should have been also considered and assessed in the document in terms of importance and risk. The Panel concludes that: The probability of entry, under the current regulations, of R. solanacearum race 2 on Musa and ornamental Heliconia plant propagation material (other than vitroplants), banana fruit and soil would be low for French Guiana, Guadeloupe and Martinique due to their proximity to contaminated areas and very low for Réunion due to its great distance from the areas of the pathogen's present distribution. Nevertheless, should the current regulations governing the imports of Musa and Heliconia plant material be lifted, and in agreement with the document, the probability of entry of the pathogen on Musa and ornamental Heliconia plant propagation material (other than vitroplants), banana fruit and soil would be high for French Guiana, Guadeloupe and Martinique and moderate for Réunion. The Panel considers that the probability of R. solanacearum race 2 being associated with the vitroplants pathway is negligible. The probability of establishment of R. solanacearum race 2 in the PRA area is high, as (i) susceptible hosts are grown in the PRA area, (ii) the climatic conditions in the French overseas departments are mainly tropical and therefore, similar to those in areas of the pathogen's present distribution, and (iii) control measures (e.g. sanitation, disinfection of tools, de-budding, inflorescence bagging, etc) are not likely to be undertaken in smallholdings and private gardens grown with Musa and Heliconia plants. The probability of the pathogen spread after establishment is high for all French overseas departments and especially in areas with Musa and Heliconia plants grown in private gardens, where control practices are not usually undertaken due to their cost. Within commercial plantations of dessert bananas the disease effects would be largely mitigated by existing practices of de-budding and bagging. However, additional sanitation measures would be necessary at extra costs. With the possibility of continuous re-infestation from the environment (smallholdings, weeds, wild host plants), 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. Plantains and other cooking bananas are an important staple food and a large fraction is household-produced. Since the disease is not readily controllable in smallholdings and private gardens, high yield losses and a potential disruption of subsistence production and consumption patterns would occur. This may also cause negative social impacts. Similar effects are envisaged for French Guiana, where the banana crop is an element of shifting cultivation. ·Uncertainties of a moderate degree are related to (i) the characterization and classification of the R. solanacearum strains recently detected in Martinique on Anthurium spp., cucurbits, tomato, Heliconia and several weeds, (ii) the ability of the pathogen to spread in the environment from fruit waste, as there is lack of information on this aspect in the literature, (iii) the banana cultivars grown in French overseas departments (other than Cavendish) and their flower bract phenology, that may influence the establishment and spread of the pathogen in the PRA area, (iv) the level of the cost increase in commercial dessert banana plantations, (v) the availability and the costs of substitution foods, should the yield of plantains and other cooking bananas be substantially reduced, (vi) the importance of banana for smallholdings and for subsistence production in French Guiana and Réunion, and (vii) the potential environmental impact (e.g. soil erosion, biodiversity, etc) of the pathogen in the PRA area. The Panel, based on the information provided in the document and on additional literature consulted, concludes that R. solanacearum race 2 is appropriate for evaluation of pest risk management options for the endangered areas of French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique and Réunion and thus, potentially eligible for addition to the list of harmful organisms in Directive 2000/29/EC.

  • Keywords : HELICONIA; RALSTONIA SOLANACEARUM; MOKO BACTERIAL WILT; 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 : IN150016


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