Victims of a deadly disease:

The Xylella fastidiosa bacterium has led to the destruction of thousands of trees like these in Apulia, Italy.

The European Union (EU) has approved reinforced measures proposed by the European Commission to prevent the spread of Xylella fastidiosa (Xf).

A European Commission press release dated April, 28 2015 reports that at a meeting earlier that day of the EU Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed made up of experts from the 28 EU member states, new measures were endorsed to address the threat posed to the EU by the spread of the Xylella fastidiosa bacterium.

The new measures call for:

  • The destruction of all infected plants, including those within a 100-meter radius.
  • Containment measures in the entire Italian province of Lecce where eradication is not possible.
  • The removal of all infected plants within a 20-km zone adjacent to the Italian provinces of Brindisi and Taranto and the testing of other plants within a 100-meter radius.
  • Strict conditions for the import and transport within the EU of plants susceptible to the bacterium.
  • A ban on the import of coffee plants from Honduras and Costa Rica.
  • The reporting of any new outbreaks, followed by an official survey and immediate demarcation of the infested area.

Following the infection of over 74,000 acres of olive trees in the Apulia (Puglia) of South Italy by the deadly bacterium which is spread by insects and the recent discovery of an infected coffee plant in France, the new measures were endorsed after an earlier meeting of the EU expert committee failed to arrive at a consensus.

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