Salute delle piante

Introduzione

L'introduzione e la diffusione di organismi nocivi ai vegetali, come funghi, batteri, virus e insetti tra le colture alimentari rappresenta una seria minaccia, può comportare conseguenze economiche, sociali e ambientali di vasta portata. Questi organismi vengono spesso introdotti in aree non interessate in precedenza dall'importazione di vegetali.

In Europa le misure di protezione contro l'introduzione di nuovi organismi nocivi ai vegetali si basano su controlli di legge del movimento dei vegetali e dei prodotti vegetali. Valutare la probabilità di introduzione e successiva diffusione di organismi nocivi ai vegetali in una determinata area, nonché le potenziali conseguenze, contribuisce a informare le decisioni politiche sulle misure di protezione da assumere. Una delle attività principali del gruppo di esperti scientifici sulla salute dei vegetali (PLH) dell'EFSA consiste nell'effettuare valutazioni del rischio fitosanitario impiegando una gamma diversificata di competenze professionali specialistiche e le più recenti conoscenze scientifiche in materia, onde fornire, in ultima analisi, consulenza scientifica alla Commissione europea.


Quadro normativo UE

Le misure di protezione contro l'introduzione e la diffusione nell’UE di organismi nocivi ai vegetali o ai prodotti vegetali sono stabilite dalla Direttiva 2000/29/CE del Consiglio, che contiene elenchi di organismi che minacciano la salute dei vegetali nell'Unione europea.

Ruolo dell’EFSA

Il gruppo di esperti scientifici PLH è operativo dall'estate 2006 e, su richiesta della Commissione europea, valuta l’opportunità o meno di includere determinati organismi nocivi ai vegetali negli appositi elenchi dell'UE effettuando lavori di categorizzazione degli organismi nocivi e/o valutazioni del rischio fitosanitario o in taluni casi esaminando valutazioni del rischio fitosanitario effettuate da terzi.

Il gruppo PLH applica una metodologia di valutazione quantitativa del rischio ai propri lavori. Ne è un recente esempio la valutazione del rischio fitosanitario per il territorio UE connesso alla lafigma (Spodoptera frugiperda), insetto sudamericano diffusosi rapidamente negli ultimi due anni nell’Africa sub-sahariana e ora in fase di diffusione in India.


Per ulteriori informazioni

Salute dei vegetali, Commissione europea, DG Salute e consumatori

Tweets

The PLH Panel started its work in the summer of 2006. On request from the European Commission the PLH Panel assesses whether a specific plant pest should be considered for inclusion in the EU lists of harmful organisms by conducting pest categorisations and/or pest risk assessments or in some cases by evaluating pest risk assessments produced by a third party.

Since the introduction in 2016 of the new Plant Health Law (see EU regulatory framework), EFSA has embarked on a number of interconnected projects aimed at supporting the European Commission’s efforts to protect the EU territory from plant pests and diseases and to assist Member States in preparing for future phytosanitary threats.

These include:

  • Horizon scanning for new pests through monitoring of the media and scientific literature. EFSA, in collaboration with the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) and Member States, regularly screens scientific and other relevant publications and the media to identify new, emerging or recurring pests that might be of concern to the EU territory. EFSA compiles a monthly newsletter of the most important reports which it shares with the Commission and plant authorities in Member States.
  • Production of a “tool kit” for plant pest surveillance, comprising survey guidelines, factsheets and statistical tools to help Member States carry out surveillance of plant pests in their territories and to harmonise surveillance methods across the EU. Survey cards are being produced throughout 2018, 2019 and 2020 and EFSA is organising dedicated workshops with Member States on specific pests.
  • Working with the JRC to support the establishment of a list of priority quarantine pests for the EU, as required by the Plant Health Law. Pests will be listed as priorities according to the social, economic and environmental impact they can be expected to have in the EU. The JRC is developing a model to be used to compile the list, using data and impact assessments on crops, forest and landscape plants in the EU provided by EFSA.
  • Risk assessments of high-risk plant commodities. As required by the Plant Health Law, the European Commission has drawn up a list of high-risk plants whose entry into the EU is prohibited. EFSA will carry out assessments of the listed plants so that the Commission can decide whether they should remain prohibited or be de-listed. Prior to beginning this work in 2019, EFSA published a report detailing the information third countries need to provide when challenging prohibition of a plant or plant product and launched a public consultation on its draft guidance for evaluating such dossiers.

The PLH Panel applies a quantitative risk methodology to its work. A recent example is the pest risk assessment for the EU territory of the fall army worm Spodoptera frugiperda, a South American insect that has spread rapidly in the last two years over sub-Saharan Africa and is now spreading in Asia.

Protective measures against the introduction into the European Union (EU) of organisms harmful to plants or plant products and against their spread within the EU are established by Council Directive 2000/29/EC. It contains lists of harmful organisms that threaten plant health in the EU. Directive 2000/29/EC has been superseded by Regulation (EU) 2016/2031 (the Plant Health Law), which came into force in December 2016 and will be applicable from 14 December 2019.

The new regulation was drawn up following an extensive review by the European Commission in 2013, with the aim of strengthening the EU’s protection against plant pests. It also aims to ensure safe trade, as well as to mitigate the impacts of climate change on the health of crops and forests


For more information

European Commission: Plant Health and biosecurity