`Destructive Bacteria Detected in France - Olive Oil Times

Destructive Bacteria Detected in France

By Isabel Putinja
Apr. 17, 2015 12:06 UTC

The dreaded Xyllela fas­tidiosa bac­terium which is blamed for the infec­tion of tens of thou­sands of olive trees in south­ern Italy has been detected for the first time in France.

Earlier this month, the French gov­ern­ment imposed import restric­tions on plants orig­i­nat­ing from the Salento region of Apulia (Puglia) over fears that it may spread to France.

The French agri­cul­ture ministry’s fears have been real­ized with the detec­tion of a cof­fee plant infected by Xyllela fas­tidiosa at a mar­ket in Rungis, a sub­urb of Paris. The min­is­ter of agri­cul­ture announced that the infected plants were con­fis­cated from a whole­sale mar­ket near Paris and that they entered the EU via the Netherlands from cen­tral America, allegedly the same route taken by the bac­terium which has affected olive trees in Apulia.

Authorities are inves­ti­gat­ing the exact ori­gin of the infected plants and con­sid­er­ing the next steps to be taken to con­trol a pos­si­ble out­break.

In a January 2015 study, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) warned that the Xyllela fas­tidiosa bac­terium can spread to other coun­tries in the European Union (EU) and cause sig­nif­i­cant crop dam­age and loss.

The bac­terium is spread by insects and can­not be erad­i­cated by cur­rent means with­out killing the infected plant.


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