Europe must improve its response to the threat of plant pests and diseases

March 10, 2014

Potentially devastating plant pests and diseases are highlighted in a new report from EASAC, the European Academies' Science Advisory Council, the leading provider of independent scientific advice to Europe's policy-makers. In the detailed EU-wide study of emerging plant pests and diseases, EASAC describes their combined threat to crops and forests and wider ecosystems, with implications for human health. In economic terms, as admitted by the EU Commission, billions of euros could be at stake and the environmental impact may be irreversible. Prof. Anne Glover, Chief Scientific Advisor to EU Commission President Barroso welcomed the report and promised to study the recommendations as a matter of urgency.

The European Commission has already acknowledged the problem by upgrading certain existing protective measures against plant pests and diseases. However, EASAC wants to see these accompanied by broader policy development and strategic action across:"Despite the scale of the problem highlighted in the "Risks to Plant Health" report, we firmly believe that science and technology can provide answers," says Professor Jos van der Meer, President of EASAC. "However, we need a coordinated approach. In particular, the report describes how research advances can bring new opportunities within reach regarding procedures for pest control and breeding improved plant varieties with resistance to biotic stresses."

Finally, In line with previous reports on controversial scientific issues, EASAC stresses that public awareness of the associated scientific, environmental, economic and strategic issues is crucial. "This awareness will inform future individual choices, national political debate and EU priority-setting. EASAC stands ready to continue playing its part in this debate," concludes van der Meer.
-end-
The full report and an executive summary can be downloaded from the EASAC website http://www.easac.eu from 10 March 2014. The report will be launched during an official event at Edelman The Centre in Brussels, at 15:00 on 10 March 2014.

EASAC is formed by the national science academies of the EU Member States, to collaborate in giving advice to European policy‐makers. EASAC provides a means for the collective voice of European Science to be heard. Through EASAC, the academies work together to provide independent expert, evidence‐based advice about the scientific aspects of European policies to those who make or influence policy within the European institutions.

Richard Hayhurst Associates

Related Diseases Articles from Brightsurf:

Understanding the spread of infectious diseases
Physicists at M√ľnster University (Germany) have shown in model simulations that the COVID-19 infection rates decrease significantly through social distancing.

Parkinson's disease is not one, but two diseases
Researchers around the world have been puzzled by the different symptoms and varied disease pathways of Parkinson's patients.

New gene implicated in neuron diseases
Healthy NEMF helps the cell recycle garbled protein fragments. But several mutant forms resulted in neuromuscular, neurodegenerative or other ALS-like disease, the scientists found.

Stretching your legs may help prevent diseases such as heart diseases and diabetes
New research published today in The Journal of Physiology shows that 12 weeks of easy-to-administer passive stretching helps improve blood flow by making it easier for your arteries to dilate and decreasing their stiffness.

Not all multiple sclerosis-like diseases are alike
Scientists say some myelin-damaging disorders have a distinctive pathology that groups them into a unique disease entity.

How many rare diseases are there?
Dr. Tudor Oprea says a better method for classifying rare diseases will lead to improved patient care.

A vaccine against chronic inflammatory diseases
In animals, a vaccine modifying the composition and function of the gut microbiota provides protection against the onset of chronic inflammatory bowel diseases and certain metabolic disorders, such as diabetes and obesity.

Ants fight plant diseases
New research from Aarhus University shows that ants inhibit at least 14 different plant diseases.

New, noninvasive test for bowel diseases
Gut diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are increasingly prevalent worldwide, especially in industrialized countries.

What is known -- and not known -- about heart muscle diseases in children
Cardiomyopathies (heart muscle diseases) in children are the focus of a new scientific statement from the American Heart Association that provides insight into the diagnosis and treatment of the diseases as well as identifying future research priorities.

Read More: Diseases News and Diseases Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.