A new method for pest risk assessment and the identification and evaluation of risk-reducing options is currently under development by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) Plant Health Panel. The draft method has been tested on pests of concern to the European Union (EU). The method is adaptable and can focus either on all the steps and sub-steps of the assessment process or on specific parts if necessary. It is based on assessing changes in pest population abundance as the major driver of the impact on cultivated plants and on the environment. Like other pest risk assessment systems the method asks questions about the likelihood and magnitude of factors that contribute to risk. Responses can be based on data or expert judgment. Crucially, the approach is quantitative, and it captures uncertainty through the provision by risk assessors of quantile estimates of the probability distributions for the assessed variables and parameters. The assessment is based on comparisons between different scenarios, and the method integrates risk-reducing options where they apply to a scenario, for example current regulation against a scenario where risk-reducing options are not applied. A strategy has been developed to communicate the results of the risk assessment in a clear, comparable and transparent way, with the aim of providing the requestor of the risk assessment with a useful answer to the question(s) posed to the EFSA Plant Health Panel. The method has been applied to four case studies, two fungi, Ceratocystis platani and Cryphonectria parasitica, the nematode Ditylenchus destructor and the Grapevine flavescence dorÃ©e phytoplasma. Selected results from these case studies illustrate the types of output that the method can deliver.
- Agronomy and Crop Science
- Plant Science