Pest risk assessment made by France on Mycosphaerella fijiensis 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 : 650

  • Pages : 1-24

  • 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 Mycosphaerella fijiensis with French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique and Réunion considered as endangered area. Three related fungal species within the genus Mycosphaerella induce important leaf spot diseases on Musa spp.: M. fijiensis, M. musicola and M. eumusae. They cause black leaf streak disease, Sigatoka leaf spot disease and eumusae leaf spot disease, respectively. M. fijiensis and M. musicola are known to cause serious economic damage on banana. M. fijiensis is present in most Musa growing regions of the world, but it is absent from the PRA area. 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, 2007b). The Panel considers that: The climatic conditions in the PRA area and the economic, social and environmental consequences following the introduction of M. fijiensis into the PRA area could have been better analysed in the French document to support the conclusions reached. The Panel concludes that: The probability of entry, under the current regulations, of M. fijiensis on Musa plant propagation material (other than vitroplants), and banana leaf, banana fruit would be low for French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique and Réunion because the import is banned. If the current restrictions are rescinded, the probability of entry of M. fijiensis into the PRA area would be high on the banana conventional propagation material (e.g. suckers) and leaves (for wrapping, decoration, etc.) pathways, low on commercial fruit without leaf debris and negligible on the vitroplants pathways. In agreement with the French document's conclusion, the Panel considers that probability of establishment of M. fiiensis in the whole PRA area is "high". The Panel agrees with the French document about the "high probability" of M. fijiensis to spread in the PRA area after establishment. In commercial plantations of Cavendish bananas M. fijiensis would increase production costs because of the increased number of chemical treatments and more frequent de-leafing required to reduce inoculum pressure, compared to the less aggressive M. musicola. Additional costs would also be faced to develop control strategies to fungicide resistance and to adapt current disease forecasting systems. Additional control costs may reduce the competitiveness of the banana industry in Guadeloupe and Martinique, resulting in reduced employment and consequent negative social impact. Smallholdings producing fruit for the local market or for home-consumption could suffer yield losses impacting on production and consumption patterns, with related negative social impacts, should the yield of plantain be substantially reduced. Similar effects are possible for French Guiana, where banana is also grown in shifting cultivation. Environmental impact will result from the increased number of fungicide applications, with possible negative effect on human health through pollution of the air and surface water. Uncertainties, which do not affect the final conclusion, remain as regards: H. psittacorum as a pathway; the extent of additional control cost for smallholders; the availability and the costs of substituting staple foods, should the yield of plantain for family consumption be substantially reduced; the increase of pesticide residues in banana fruit should M. fijiensis establish in the PRA area. The Panel, based on the information provided in the document and on additional literature consulted, concludes that M. fijiensis 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.


  • Open access : Yes

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

  • Musalit document ID : IN150014

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