Opinion of the Scientific Panel on Plant Health on the pest risk assessment made by Lithuania on Ambrosia spp.
Following a request from the European Commission, the Panel on Plant Heath was asked to issue a scientific opinion on the pest risk assessment made by Lithuania on Ambrosia spp., requested by Lithuania to be inserted as a harmful organism in point c of section II, part A of Annex I to the Council Directive 2000/29/EC.
The Lithuanian risk assessment relates to three species of the genus Ambrosia: A. artemisiifolia L. (common ragweed), A. trifida L. (giant ragweed) and A. psilostachya DC (perennial ragweed). These plants are native to North America and are considered invasive both in their native area and in other parts of the world, including several countries in Europe. Ambrosia spp. are of particular public concern due to the allergenic properties of their pollen.
The Panel examined in detail the three documents provided by Lithuania. The review evaluated the accuracy and relevance of data, the information provided for pest risk assessment purposes, the quality and quantity of data considered, and the quality of methods applied to conduct the risk assessment. The review was based on the principles and terminology of the International Standard on Phytosanitary Measures ISPM No. 11: Pest risk analysis for quarantine pests including analysis of environmental risks and living modified organisms (2004) by the International Plant Protection Convention (FAO IPPC, 2006).
With regard to the criteria of a quarantine pest, the Panel on Plant Health concludes that the Lithuanian documents do not provide sufficient evidence to assess on a scientifically sound basis whether Ambrosia spp. qualify as quarantine pests for Lithuania.
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