Pest risk assessment made by France on Xanthomonas campestris pv. musacearum, 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 : 669

  • Pages : 1-30

  • 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 simplified pest risk assessment conducted by France on Xanthomonas campestris pv. musacearumwith French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique and Réunion considered as endangered area. The bacterium Xanthomonas campestris pv. musacearum is the causal agent of an emerging disease of bananas, called Xanthomonas wilt. The disease, which results in wilting and eventually in death of plants, already causes serious phytosanitary problems in some Eastern African countries. 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 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, 2007c). The Panel concludes that the following information were not sufficiently taken into consideration nor adequately documented in the pest risk assessment prepared by France: specificities related to the geographic location of each of the four French overseas departments, potential pathways of entry, climatic similarities between the PRA area and the areas where the bacterium is present, area of land cultivated with banana and the distribution of banana plantations and/or private gardens in each of the French overseas departments, banana cultivars grown in the PRA area and the characteristics concerning their flower phenology, economic importance of banana crop for each of the French overseas departments, banana cropping system in the PRA area including present or future control strategies, and potential impacts (economic, social, environmental) in the PRA area. The Panel recognizes that X. campestris pv. musacearum is a recently emerging bacterium of banana and, therefore, most of the information regarding the taxonomy and host range of the bacterium and the epidemiology and impacts of the disease has been published subsequent to the date the document was compiled (July 2003). However, greater inference could have been made from information available on Ralstonia solanacearum race 2 (Moko disease), which appears to have a similar epidemiology and management strategies. The Panel notes that 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: Under current regulations banning the import of banana host plant material, the entry of the pathogen into French Guiana, Guadeloupe and Martinique would be unlikely, whilst its probability would be higher for Réunion through uncontrolled/illegal trade and passengers transportation of banana and enset plant material, due to its geographic relative proximity to East Africa, where the pathogen is present and widespread. If the current regulations were rescinded, the Panel considers that the market globalization would increase the probability of entry of the bacterium through trade of banana and enset vegetative propagation material and fruit originating from contaminated areas. The widespread presence of the disease in East Africa increases the probability of entry of the bacterium into Réunion through local trade and tourism. Risk seems to be lower for the other three French overseas departments, which are located far from Africa. Due to the geographical distance, the probability of X. campestris pv. musacearum entering into the four French overseas departments via vectors, such as nectar- and/or fruit-feeding insects, birds or bats, is estimated as low. The probability of entry of the bacterium into the French overseas departments by trade on commodities other than Ensete spp. and Musa spp. would be low, considering that the only other hosts (i.e. Canna orchoides, C. indica and maize) were reported under artificial inoculations. In agreement with the document, should the bacterium enter the PRA area, the probability of establishment and spread would be high for all French overseas departments. Within commercial plantations of dessert bananas the disease effects would be high in the absence of any control strategy, but they would be mitigated by the existing practices of bagging and de-budding. Sanitation and eradication would be necessary at extra costs and these costs might reduce the competitiveness of the banana industry in Guadeloupe and Martinique. As a result, employment might be reduced causing negative social impacts. Plantain and cooking banana are an important staple food and a large fraction is household-produced. Since the disease is not 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 French Guiana, where the banana crop is an element of shifting cultivation. The degree of uncertainty concerning the host range of the bacterium, its survival in soil and plant debris, its airborne vectors, the control strategies and the economic impact cannot be considered as low, as estimated in the document. The Panel considers those uncertainties as moderate due to the limited information available on the bacterium and on the disease, both in the document and in the literature. The Panel, based on the information provided in the document and on additional literature consulted, concludes that X. campestris pv. musacearum 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 X. campestris pv. musacearum is potentially eligible for addition to the list of harmful organisms in Directive 2000/29/EC for all French overseas departments.


  • Open access : Yes

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

  • Musalit document ID : IN150020

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