Pest risk assessment in the European Community: inventory of data sources
The present document has been produced and adopted by the bodies identified above as authors. In accordance with Article 36 of Regulation (EC) No 178/2002, this task has been carried out exclusively by the authors in the context of a grant agreement between the European Food Safety Authority and the authors. The present document is published complying with the transparency principle to which the European Food Safety Authority is subject. It may not be considered as an output adopted by EFSA. EFSA reserves its rights, view and position as regards the issues addressed and the conclusions reached in the present document, without prejudice to the rights of the authors.
The purpose of the Prassis project (acronym of Pest risk assessment in the European Community: inventory of data sources) is to review and to produce an inventory of international and national key information and data sources, necessary to conduct the risk assessment of harmful organisms. A protocol was developed for inventorying the sources available in literature, in web-sites, in databases, and in software, in a structured, transparent, and efficient manner. The protocol was designed in such a way that the data sources inventoried could also be useful for future risk assessments in other fields and / or connected with other databases. About 250 descriptors (metadata) were defined for describing the data sources. Metadata for evaluation of data quality (strengths and weaknesses), accessibility for EFSA, and suitability for pest risk assessment were also included. International standards and codes were used whenever possible. The protocol was implemented in a user-friendly webportal. The web-portal was designed to facilitate on-line entry of new data sources and on-line modification or updating of the existing ones. The web-portal also makes it possible to search the data sources within the inventory by using both basic and advanced search procedures, and to summarize results in a clear and concise way. A database was developed containing international and national information and data sources. The inventory covers the 27 European Member States and 34 third Countries. About 500 sources were entered in the webbased portal; because some sources contain information on different aspects of pest risk analysis, there are more than 600 records of interest. The project has three main weaknesses: i) although very large, the database is incomplete; ii) procedures for evaluating the quality of the sources included in the inventory can be improved; iii) the practical use of web-portal functionalities has not been thoroughly tested. Possible solutions are provided.