Xylella fastidiosa: ‘Together we can find solutions’

“The whole EU territory is at risk from Xylella fastidiosa, and the more the scientific community works together on this issue, the quicker we’ll be to find solutions to tackle this pest.” That was how Claude Bragard, chair of EFSA’s Panel on Plant Health, summed up the importance of the conference on X. fastidiosa held in Corsica this week.

Around 350 plant health specialists from around the world attended the conference for two days of intensive discussions on how science can help find solutions to the plant pest that is causing environmental and economic damage across Europe. Hundreds of people followed proceedings via a special live web streaming of the event.

Prof Bragard praised the commitment of the conference participants, saying: “Science should not be kept in an ivory tower, and is better used when shared to inform collective knowledge.”

Giuseppe Stancanelli, head of EFSA’s plant health team, added: “This was yet another successful conference – following on from the event we held in Mallorca two years ago – with hundreds of experts from many countries coming together to discuss what is known about Xylella and what research still needs to be done.

“What we know today paves the way for the prioritisation of new research and new scientific findings to help us better understand and control one of the most dangerous plant bacteria in the world.”

The conference was organised jointly by EFSA; the French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA); the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety (ANSES); the Office de l’Environnement de la Corse (OEC) through its department the Conservatoire Botanique National de Corse; the EU-funded projects POnTE, XF-ACTORS, CURE-XF and EuroXanth; and the Euphresco network for phytosanitary research coordination and funding.

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