HortiDaily reports that The European Commission is considering whether to tighten or extend its current emergency measures for the control of tomato brown rugose fruit virus (ToBRFV), which continues to spread across the continent (recently new outbreaks were detected in Slovakia). With current measures due for review from 29th May, politicians are debating whether future controls on the disease should be more or less stringent.
According to the report, ‘Several countries believe that the current Q status for seeds and young plants due to the current emergency measure for ToBRFV (for capsicum and tomatoes) is no longer tenable.’ In particular The Netherlands has proposed ending the emergency measure for ToBRFV for some time. Options could include abandoning regulation altogether or giving ToBRFV status as a RNQP (regulated non-quarantine pest).
However, a number of other EU member states appear to favour further tightening of ToBRFV requirements for seeds and young plants.
Reports suggest that ‘In the Netherlands, the number of infections with ToBRFV, a virus that can cause great damage to plants but is harmless to humans, has increased. Fifty companies are under the supervision of the Dutch plant protection authorities. The same agency, NVWA, is also tightening controls on illegal cross-protection, where plants are deliberately infected with the virus. The NVWA says there are indications that the variant from cross-protection has now spread naturally to other farms.’