Database on apple fruit pests of the EU to support pest risk assessments
In December 2013, EFSA received a first mandate from the European Commission DG SANTE to gather information on the pests of apple fruit (Malus domestica) in the EU territory (M‐2014‐0016). To satisfy the mandate, EFSA developed an overall approach to systematically collect information on EU apple pests and to organise it within a bespoke database with support from the Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety. Test data were collected for 12 apple pests (6 insects and 6 pathogens). Based on the experience gathered, the initial database structure was adapted and refined by EFSA, permitting more efficient data gathering. In September 2017, as a follow‐up to the original mandate, EFSA was requested by the European Commission DG SANTE to test the suitability of the revised database in supporting risk assessors in third countries to carry out pest risk assessments of apple fruit as a commodity (M‐2017‐0203). As a first step, the data set on the 12 pests was migrated into the newly revised database structure. This was then converted into the MicroStrategy platform to provide a user‐friendly interface for data search and visualisation. At the same time, a new data entry tool using the systematic literature review software DistillerSR was created to enhance data extraction for future data collections. The interactive data reports were shared with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) in New Zealand for their testing and feedback as potential future users of the database. The overall feedback collected from CFIA and MPI confirms that the EU database on apple fruit pests could become an important tool to provide third countries the necessary technical and biological information for their pest risk assessments. Addressing feedback from CFIA and MPI has further improved the database structure and metadata. The database of apple pests can be included in the EFSA Scientific Data Warehouse and extended to provide a comprehensive list of pests and host plants.