The Panel on Plant Health assessed the risk to plant health of Strawberry mild yellow edge virus (SMYEV) for the European Union (EU) territory, and evaluated the current EU legislation and possible risk reduction options. This virus is widely distributed both within and outside Europe and the same applies to its main vector, the strawberry aphid, Chaetosiphon fragaefolii. At-risk hosts (Fragaria spp.) occur widely in Europe. Plants for planting were identified as the most significant entry pathway and the probability of entry is rated as unlikely to moderately likely with high uncertainty. The probability of establishment is rated very likely with low uncertainty. The probability of local spread by natural means is moderately likely to likely, with medium uncertainty, whereas that of human-assisted long-distance spread is unlikely, with medium uncertainty. The potential consequences are rated as minimal to minor with medium uncertainty. Prohibition and restricting import or intra-EU trade to certified materials or to materials originating from pest-free areas or pest-free places of production are the options with highest effectiveness against the risks of introduction or against the risks of further spread. Prohibition and certification are also among the options of high or very high feasibility. In addition, it should be noted that the combination of options (cultural practices, certification, exclusion conditions, tolerant varieties) has an overall high to very high level of effectiveness and feasibility. The current legislation has few weaknesses: the reliance on inefficient visual inspection as well as the exceptions or derogations offered to some countries in which SMYEV is present. If the current legislation were removed, no major consequences would be expected unless the industry simultaneously ceased its widely adopted certification activity, which seems unlikely given the potential consequences.
- Chaetosiphon fragaefolii
- risk assessment