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Opinion of the Scientific Panel PLH on the Pest Risk Analysis made by Spain on Bactrocera zonata [1]
Last updated: 7 May 2007    
Publication Date: 7 May 2007    

Adopted by written procedure on 27 February 2007 ( Question Nº EFSA-Q-2006-052)

The European Commission requested EFSA to provide a scientific opinion on the Pest Risk Analysis (PRA) made by Spain on Bactrocera zonata, a fruit fly listed in the quarantine list of the Community plant health legislation (Council Directive 2000/29/EC) and in particular to consider the threats posed by Bactrocera zonata to the whole Community, to identify the fruit species at risk and to determine whether the management measures proposed are appropriate.
Bactrocera zonata (Saunders), the peach fruit fly, attacks ripe fruit of many species, especially mango, peach and guava, rendering them inedible. It is common in many tropical and sub-tropical countries of Asia, especially the Indian sub-continent, and has recently invaded Egypt. It is absent from the European Community and listed in Annex I Part A Section I of the Council Directive 2000/29/EC under the synonym Dacus zonatus as a harmful organism whose introduction into, and spread within, all member states shall be banned. In 2005, Spain detected Bactrocera larvae, assumed to be B. zonata, in two consignments of citrus from Egypt and conducted a pest risk assessment and an analysis of risk management options following the 1997 version of the EPPO pest risk analysis (PRA) scheme. The Spanish PRA concluded that B. zonata poses a serious threat to fruit production in the Mediterranean countries of Europe and that appropriate management measures should include phytosanitary treatments before export, targeted entry inspections and the prohibition of fruit carried by passengers.
The EFSA Scientific Panel on Plant Health conducted a detailed review of the Spanish PRA and concluded that the PRA does provide sufficient evidence to support the listing of B. zonata in Annex I Part A Section I of the Council Directive 2000/29/EC. The additional work required to determine the threat to the whole community, identify the fruit species at greatest risk and select the most appropriate management options is outlined.
The Panel found that, although the Spanish pest risk assessment could be improved, it did provide sufficient evidence to justify an analysis of risk management options. It confirmed that B. zonata is capable of entering, establishing, spreading and causing significant impacts on fruit production in southern member states. However, the pest risk assessment could be improved, principally by (a) clearly defining the PRA area, (b) updating, extending and analysing data on the different pathways B. zonata could enter the Community, (c) conducting a detailed assessment of the climatic suitability of the EC for B. zonata, (d) defining which member states and areas are most endangered, (e) identifying the fruit species that are most at risk, (f) further exploring the potential impacts on export markets and (g) summarising the key uncertainties.

The Spanish analysis of risk management options could also be enhanced since it (i) follows an old EPPO standard that contains a number of ambiguities and inconsistencies, (ii) does not analyse a key pathway (fresh fruit carried by passengers) in detail, (iii) rejects or fails to recognise several management options that, while insufficient on their own, could, when combined with others, form part of a systems approach, (iv) overlooks measures, such as surveillance trapping, the male annihilation technique and insecticides, that can be very effective in the importing country and (v) does not determine the extent to which the measures identified interfere with trade, are cost-effective and have no undesirable social or environmental consequences.


[1] For citation purposes: Opinion of the Scientific Panel on Plant Health on a request from the Commission on Pest Risk Assessment made by Spain on Bactrocera zonata. The EFSA Journal (2007) 467, 1-25.