Scientific opinion on Pest risk assessment made by France on Banana mild mosaic virus (BanMMV) for French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique and Réunion
This document contains the opinion of the Panel on Plant Health on the full pest risk assessment conducted by France on Banana mild mosaic virus (BanMMV) with French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique and Réunion considered as endangered area. Banana mild mosaic virus (BanMMV) is a recently characterized virus of the family Flexiviridae which infects banana and plantains. BanMMV has a very wide geographic distribution and its presence has been reported in Guadeloupe and Martinique.
Although the French pest risk assessment could be improved upon, the Panel agrees with the conclusion of the French document that the phytosanitary risk of BanMMV as a single virus is extremely low.
The Panel agrees with the French analysis that BanMMV has a high probability of entry and establishment and that the international movement of large quantities of vitroplants represents the most important entry pathway. The Panel further considers that virus indexing of mother plants used for vitroplants production could provide an effective means to reduce the probability of entry of BanMMV in the area under consideration.
Although BanMMV is a pathogenic agent for banana, the Panel concludes that the economic consequences of its further entry in the French overseas departments can be considered low since BanMMV, which is present in most if not all banana growing areas of the world, does not appear to be associated with significant yield loss in banana.
However, the Panel recognises that there are several areas of BanMMV biology where information is incomplete or lacking. These areas of uncertainty include a) clarification of the host range of BanMMV, b) its symptom expression (in particular when in mixed infection with other banana-infecting viruses) and c) the possibility that the virus may have further potential for spread by a vector.
The overall conclusion of the Panel is that BanMMV is not appropriate for analysis of risk management options for French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique and Réunion and is thus not potentially eligible for addition to the list of harmful organisms of Directive 2000/29/EC.
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