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Plant health

Plants can be threatened by diseases, pathogens or pests. These have an impact on health, the economy, food and biodiversity. Through its expertise, ANSES helps to prevent the emergence of diseases and pests, combat invasive plants, and reduce the impact of pesticide use in order to preserve the diversity of plant species and crops.

News

Plant protection: spotting the Japanese beetle's arrival in France as early as possible
20/06/2022
News
Plant Health Laboratory

Plant protection: spotting the Japanese beetle's arrival in France as early as possible

The Japanese beetle has already been in Italy and Switzerland for several years, and there is a high probability that it will enter France. This insect pest poses a threat to hundreds of plant species. To have any chance of eradicating it from our country, action must be taken as soon as the insect is first detected.
Understanding the increase in damage caused by a fungus in the Landes forest
21/03/2022
News

Understanding the increase in damage caused by a fungus in the Landes forest

For the past three years, Cronartium pini , a fungus responsible for pine blister rust, has been causing increasing damage to maritime pines in the Landes forest. Work by the Plant Health Laboratory's Mycology Unit has shown that the nearby establishment of peony fields was not responsible, although it had increased its transmission and aggravated the extent of the damage it had caused.
What effect do herbicide-tolerant varieties have on plant biodiversity?
18/03/2022
News
Plant Health Laboratory

What effect do herbicide-tolerant varieties have on plant biodiversity?

The cultivation of herbicide-tolerant varieties (HTVs) of crops raises concerns for plant biodiversity. In a study conducted with INRAE and the regional chambers of agriculture, ANSES measured the impact of their use on plant diversity in and around fields.
Use of pesticides in the home in the French overseas territories (Reunion Island, Guadeloupe, Martinique)
28/06/2021
News

Use of pesticides in the home in the French overseas territories (Reunion Island, Guadeloupe, Martinique)

Used in gardens and homes or as antiparasitic products for humans and pets, pesticides expose the public to health risks that need to be controlled. In order to better understand the practices and uses of pesticides in the French overseas territories, ANSES conducted the Pesti'home study. Following its first report in October 2019 focusing on metropolitan France, today it is publishing the findings of the survey carried out among 608 households in the French Caribbean and on Reunion Island. What is the Pesti'home study? Following publication of the results for metropolitan France in late 2019, ANSES is now publishing the Pesti'home findings for the French overseas territories. This part of the survey was conducted between February and July 2015 and involved 608 households from Guadeloupe, Martinique and Reunion Island . The Pesti’home study concerns pesticides available to the general public : products used to protect indoor and outdoor plants, biocides used in the home against insects, mites, rodents, parasites or wood root, and antiparasitic drugs used to protect both humans and animals from lice, fleas or ticks. More than one in two households use pesticides at home Just like in metropolitan France, households in the French overseas territories frequently use pesticides in the home: 58.3% of households in Martinique, 70.1% of households on Reunion Island, and 94.8% of households in Guadeloupe used pesticides at least once during the year. Aerosols or sprays were the most commonly used type of products. In the overseas territories, the tropical climate favours the proliferation of insects such as mosquitoes, cockroaches and ants. Treatments therefore appear to focus primarily on these types of insects. For all types of use combined, pesticide use was between three and four times more frequent than in metropolitan France. Heavy users , i.e. people using pesticides more than twice a week, made up almost one-third of households on Reunion Island, one-quarter in Guadeloupe, and one-fifth in Martinique. Banned products also found stored in homes On all three islands, over 80% of households stored at least one pesticide at home, mainly in the kitchen, shed or garage. As in metropolitan France, the survey found that a number of households had products that are now banned from sale, in particular plant protection products that may sometimes have been purchased more than 10 years ago. At the time of the survey, nearly 24% of the products stored by households in Guadeloupe, 27% in Martinique and 20% on Reunion Island were banned from sale . Insufficient compliance with the precautions for use and disposal In Guadeloupe and Martinique, nearly 80% of unused and expired products are thrown in the bin instead of being taken to a waste disposal centre . On Reunion Island, the figure was 60%. Few users wear protective equipment such as gloves, masks or protective clothing. Generally speaking, the precautions and recommendations for using products are not always read or followed . For example, although the recommended dose and the advice provided by the instructions or packaging were broadly followed on all three islands, this was not the case with products intended for flying and crawling insects such as mosquitoes, cockroaches and ants, or for repellents used on the body and/or on textiles (except on Reunion Island). Provide more information in order to reduce user exposure and the environmental impact In light of these results, ANSES is reiterating the recommendations made on publication of the metropolitan part of the Pesti’home study, and in particular the need to make heavy users more aware of the importance of: reading and following the precautions for use : airing the room where the product was used, wearing gloves when specified, complying with the recommended dose, etc. taking products to a waste disposal centre in cases where they have been stored for a long time and contain substances that are now banned, along with empty product packaging, complying with the conditions for storage and use of products, for example, by ensuring that users are provided with information on this at the time of purchase. In 2021, ANSES will publish its opinion on discontinuing self-service sales of biocidal products for the general public. The Agency also recommends that manufacturers provide consumers with clearer and more readable information on the composition of these products . To limit the proliferation of insects, especially mosquitoes, ANSES invites individuals both in the overseas territories and in metropolitan France to get rid of stagnant water where insects lay their eggs, by: emptying the saucers under flower pots, cleaning gutters to help water drain away, covering rainwater tanks.
Harmonising the tests for detecting plant pests
17/06/2021
News
Plant Health Laboratory

Harmonising the tests for detecting plant pests

The results of the European Valitest project, coordinated by ANSES, were presented at the project's final general assembly on Wednesday 9 June. This project assessed a total of 83 tests, and led to diagnostic practices being harmonised for 11 plant pests.
Alternatives to neonicotinoids to control yellowing in beet crops
02/06/2021
News

Alternatives to neonicotinoids to control yellowing in beet crops

In an update of its 2018 Opinion on alternatives to neonicotinoids, ANSES identified 22 solutions for controlling aphids and yellowing disease in sugar beet crops. These control measures may take over from neonicotinoid products, which have been banned since 2018 but whose use was reintroduced for beet seed treatments under a waiver in 2020. These alternative solutions, whose effectiveness is good but insufficient when they are used alone, will require an integrated control approach or even a change in cultivation practices to be sufficiently effective. In 2020, large populations of aphid vectors of yellowing viruses invaded beet crops. This situation led to the use under a waiver of neonicotinoid products for the coating of beet seeds, in the absence of other sufficiently effective control measures for this sector. To keep producers and the sugar industry from having to deal with the consequences of this problem again, ANSES received a request from the Ministry of Agriculture to identify available effective alternatives for reducing aphid populations infesting sugar beets. Four short-term solutions were identified: two conventional plant protection products with insecticidal properties and two practices to be implemented on cropped land to reduce aphid populations. These practices consist of mulching and organic fertilisation, with the aim of controlling nitrogen inputs. In addition to these solutions available for immediate use, 18 other control measures should become available within the next two to three years . The marketing authorisations for certain plant protection products used for other crops may also be extended. Most of the alternative solutions considered as potential replacements for neonicotinoids have good but insufficient effectiveness, when used alone, to reduce levels of damage to an acceptable economic threshold. ANSES therefore recommends supporting research and development efforts to adapt the solutions identified for other crops to the case of sugar beets, and testing combinations of solutions as part of an integrated control approach, in the context of epidemiological surveillance. A range of complementary control measures To identify these measures of control, the group of experts analysed more than 3,800 references from the scientific literature, noting that few of these studies investigated the control of beet aphids. The experts nonetheless identified several technical solutions, both existing and yet to be developed. “ Various types of solutions were identified. The use of several combined products or methods should be considered to achieve a sufficient level of effectiveness and prevent aphids from developing resistance ”, affirms Hervé Jactel, the chair of the Working Group in charge of the expert appraisal. The solutions include synthetic and natural plant protection products, micro-organisms, aphid insect predators and parasitoids (which lay their eggs inside aphids), vegetable and mineral oils, which provide beets with physical protection, methods for stimulating the plants’ natural defences, the selection of beet varieties resistant to yellowing viruses and lastly, methods combining the cultivation of beets with that of other plants, whose role is to keep aphids from accessing the beet plants or encourage the action of aphid arthropod predators or parasitoids. Appropriate alternatives for beets This expert appraisal supplements the Report published by ANSES in 2018 on alternatives to neonicotinoids : “ For the first expert appraisal, we had an overview of the situation, with 130 uses analysed ”, explains Emmanuel Gachet, scientific coordinator of the expert appraisal and Head of the Expert Assessment of Biological Risks Unit of ANSES's Plant Health Laboratory. “ Here, we have focused on the two main aphid species responsible for transmitting yellowing viruses – the green peach aphid (Myzus persicae) and the black bean aphid (Aphis fabae) – to identify rapidly available solutions for sugar beets ”. This expert appraisal focused on the effectiveness, sustainability and operational feasibility of the alternative solutions. Some are still under development; moreover, some of those that are regulated have not yet been approved at European level. ANSES reiterates that prior to their use, plant protection products should be assessed in terms of their effectiveness and the associated risks to human health and the environment, including pollinators, before any marketing authorisation may be issued for the use in question. It also stresses the need to consider combining the available solutions, as part of an agro-ecological approach, in particular with a view to crop diversification.
Monitoring resistance to plant protection products around the world
26/03/2021
News
Plant Health Laboratory

Monitoring resistance to plant protection products around the world

Scientists from ANSES and INRAE have analysed the systems in place to monitor resistance to plant protection products around the world. Their findings showed that studies on this subject are often engaged by both private and public players, at the same time and in the same country. Given the complementary nature of these approaches, greater cooperation would increase the efficiency of monitoring systems. A variety of means are used to control crop diseases and pests, including plant protection products. However, undesirable insects, fungi or plants may develop resistance to these products in certain conditions of use. The selection of resistance makes plant protection products less effective, and result in their being used in increasing quantities, before becoming completely useless. This concerns both synthetic active substances and naturally-occurring ones that use micro-organisms. For this reason, it is essential to monitor the development of resistance in order to minimise the use of plant protection products by preventing usage in cases where they have become ineffective. This monitoring is part of a strategy for controlling plant pests while maintaining the use of plant protection products at a level compatible with sustainable development. This monitoring does not take the same form in all countries. Scientists from INRAE and ANSES, working together as part of the R4P network (Research and Reflection Ring on Pesticide Resistance), conducted a broad study to compare resistance monitoring systems around the world. They recently published their results in the journal Pest Management Science. Disparities between countries A total of 162 experts from 48 countries took part in the study. Many of the contributions came from Europe and North America, although experts from South America, Asia, Oceania and Africa also took part. The study identified three types of players working on resistance to plant protection products. The first category is made up of private organisations , including manufacturers of plant protection products and agricultural consultancies. The second category concerns academic players , i.e. universities and research institutes. The third category is made up of government players . The first finding was that a greater number of players are involved in resistance monitoring in countries with a high human development index (HDI) . Reflecting this, all three categories of players are present in 83% of countries with a high development index (above 0.9) and in just 17% of those with a low index (below 0.8). Government players are more frequently involved in monitoring resistance to plant protection products in countries with a high HDI. Different but complementary objectives The objectives of resistance monitoring vary, as does the type of data collected, depending on the player: For private companies, the aim is to verify the effectiveness of their products. In some cases, they also have regulatory obligations, as in France, where marketing authorisations may be accompanied by a request for monitoring and a requirement to declare any changes in monitoring results to the authorities, in the case of products where there is a risk of developing resistance. The work conducted by private players therefore covers a wide range of products, crops and pests, but not all data are made public. Studies conducted by academic players are part of research projects. They usually focus on a specific problem, studied over a period of several years. Although the field of study is limited, the level of detail can be significant. Finally, the monitoring carried out by government players is usually conducted on an annual basis and the results systematically made public. This approach therefore enables long-term monitoring, although it focuses primarily on the situations in which resistance is most likely to emerge or develop. The coexistence of these monitoring systems within the same country thus provides a more detailed overview of the situation . The authors of the study point out that efforts to monitor resistance to plant protection products would be more effective if players were to collaborate to a greater extent, combining their capacities for collecting, analysing and disseminating data. A special case, the French monitoring system In France, all three types of player – private, academic and government – are involved in monitoring resistance to plant protection products. The international study highlighted the unique nature of the French system, which is based on a national annual monitoring plan , financed as part of the Ecophyto plan, supervised by the Ministry of Agriculture, with the involvement of both ANSES and INRAE. Every year, the monitoring plan covers around 40 topics (corresponding to crop/plant pest/active substance triads). No comparable system exists in any of the other countries covered by this analysis. The French monitoring plan provides input for the phytopharmacovigilance scheme , set up to monitor the adverse effects of plant protection products, including the emergence of resistance. This plan collects data from existing monitoring organisations, as well as any cases reported by professionals, particularly manufacturers and users of plant protection products. Finally, it finances research with the purpose of gaining a clearer understanding of these adverse effects and improving their detection.
A new technique capable of identifying unregistered GMOs
19/02/2021
News
Plant Health Laboratory

A new technique capable of identifying unregistered GMOs

Thanks to a technique developed by the ANSES Plant Health Laboratory, at the site in Angers, it is now easier to identify an unregistered DNA sequence in a genetically modified organism (GMO).
Close monitoring of the presence of a devastating banana fungus in Mayotte
27/01/2021
News
Plant Health Laboratory

Close monitoring of the presence of a devastating banana fungus in Mayotte

The phytopathogenic fungus Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense tropical race 4 (Foc TR4), which was detected in Mayotte for the first time in late 2019, represents a major threat to banana crops. In December, eleven new suspected cases raised fears of further outbreaks of the pathogen on the island. The analyses carried out by ANSES for these new cases turned out to be negative, but this false alarm demonstrates the need to remain vigilant to prevent its spread.. Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense is responsible for Fusarium wilt of banana, also known as Panama disease. The fungus does not affect the fruit, but causes the infected plant to wilt and the leaves to turn yellow, leading to its death. There is currently no treatment against this fungus, which is easily spread by the planting of asymptomatic infected plants or by objects in contact with contaminated soil, such as agricultural machinery or boots. The only effective means of control is the destruction of infected plants and a ban on access to contaminated areas. This fungus has several races, which can attack different varieties of banana plants. Tropical race 4 (TR4) is the only one capable of infecting the Cavendish banana, the world’s most widely grown variety. It first appeared in the early 2000s in Australia and Southeast Asia and has since spread to several countries with tropical or subtropical climates. Identification of the first cases in Mayotte The Mycology Unit of the ANSES Plant Health Laboratory was first consulted in September 2019, following the discovery of a banana plant in Mayotte showing the symptoms of Fusarium oxysporum infection. This was the first contamination by tropical race 4 on the island. It was officially confirmed by three successive tests: a molecular PCR test, using a method developed by the ANSES team; a vegetative compatibility test, which verified that the fungus specimen was specifically compatible with strains of tropical race 4; and a pathogenicity test, which confirmed that it was capable of attacking the Cavendish banana plant. This work was carried out in collaboration with Stellenbosch University, South Africa, and was published in the journal Plant Disease last November. An intensive search for other contaminated banana plants was conducted on the island. Three other cases of TR4 infection were detected and the plants concerned were destroyed. A global threat After a period during which no further cases were reported, eleven new samples were sent to ANSES in December. According to the PCR analyses carried out, it was not TR4 this time. The tests carried out were unable to determine the causes of the symptoms observed. So far, no cases of infection by Foc TR4 have been reported in the other French overseas départements, but the fungus is progressing around the world and has reached South America, with the first case identified in Colombia in 2019. Its spread is a threat to banana crops intended for export, but also to local populations in Asia and Africa, for whom this fruit – together with plantains, which are also affected by TR4 – is a staple food.
A virus threatening courgettes detected for the first time in France
27/10/2020
News

A virus threatening courgettes detected for the first time in France

The Tomato leaf curl New Delhi virus (ToLCNDV) is a virus that can spread rapidly in courgette crops, causing considerable damage. ANSES’s Plant Health Laboratory confirmed its presence in France, although the country had been disease-free prior to that time. Described for the first time in India in tomato plants, the ToLCNDV virus is currently found in several European Countries (Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece and Estonia), where it causes damage to courgette, cucumber and melon crops. Sighted in France by sector professionals, the presence of ToLCNDV has just been confirmed following analyses by ANSES in four courgette production areas, in the Occitanie and Provence-Alpes-Côte-d'Azur regions. Spread worsened by the presence of a highly efficient vector The virus, belonging to the Geminiviridae family, is transmitted mainly by the Bemisia tabaci whitefly, an insect vector considered to be highly effective in spreading the disease. This insect vector acquires the virus within 15 to 30 minutes when it draws sap from infected plants. It then retains the virus for life and can spread it for several days by infecting healthy plants. Considering the situation in the countries where it has been detected, the virus is likely to infect a very large number of plant species such as potatoes, tomatoes, courgettes, aubergines, melons, cucumbers, bell peppers and squash, causing significant damage to crops. It affects courgette plants by stunting their growth and causing chlorosis. The leaves become deformed, curl up and display various degrees of mosaic effects. As with all plant viruses, there is no known treatment that can cure an infected plant. To prevent its spread, prevention is therefore essential, and should include the use of healthy plant material or plants, the elimination of diseased plants and control of insect vector populations. The Plant Health Laboratory, a national reference laboratory The ToLCNDV virus is a quarantine pest and is therefore regulated at European level. In France, ANSES’s Plant Health Laboratory carries out official analyses to confirm its presence. A method enabling the identification of viruses of the same family is first used and then, in the case of a positive result, the analysis of the specific genetic sequence of ToLCNDV is needed to finalise the diagnosis. In order to strengthen virus detection capacity, ANSES is also testing several real-time PCR detection methods and is participating in an inter-laboratory trial organised at European level by the European Union Reference Laboratory. Not to be confused with 4oCZanses-met-en-garde-contre-un-virus-émergent-qui-affecte-les-plantes-potagères">tomato brown rugose fruit virus (ToBRFV) In February 2020, ANSES warned of a new emerging virus that was especially dangerous for tomatoes. This virus, ToBRFV, is transmitted through infected seeds, plants and fruit, as well as by simple contact, and can survive for extended periods without losing its infectious potential. Although it was detected in February 2020 in the region of Brittany, no new outbreaks have since been identified. The measures taken in Europe have led to reinforced surveillance of this virus in France, carried out by State services and their delegates, which has limited its spread.
The European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization with ANSES at the Paris International Agricultural Show
24/02/2020
News

The European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization with ANSES at the Paris International Agricultural Show

Nico Horn, Director General of the European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization (EPPO), met with Roger Genet, Director General of ANSES, on the Agency's stand at the 2020 Paris International Agricultural Show. For nearly 20 years, ANSES has been participating in EPPO's work to prevent the introduction and spread of plant pests in agricultural, forest and natural ecosystems. EPPO has 52 European member countries from the Urals to the Mediterranean and is responsible for coordinating plant protection strategy in Europe. ANSES actively contributes to EPPO activities, in particular the development of numerous diagnostic tools and expert appraisals. Today, EPPO visited ANSES's stand at the Paris International Agricultural Show dedicated to the theme of plant health, echoing the United Nations International Year of Plant Health. The meeting of the Directors General of the two organisations was an opportunity to discuss their work together on many EPPO projects. Indeed, ANSES helps develop conventions and standards relating to plant health measures and participates in expert panels on pests, their diagnosis and their resistance to plant protection products.
Pinewood nematode: preventing its introduction and spread in order to protect French pine forests
24/02/2020
News

Pinewood nematode: preventing its introduction and spread in order to protect French pine forests

The pinewood nematode ( Bursaphelenchus xylophilus ), a microscopic worm responsible for significant dieback in conifers, poses an imminent threat to French forests of maritime pine. It is currently present in Portugal and some parts of Spain, and could potentially contaminate the Landes area of France where the parasite's insect vector is also found. The nematode's spread is mainly due to the transport of contaminated wood packaging and products. Nematode-contaminated bark and packaging was intercepted in France in 2018. This led ANSES to conduct several expert appraisals to assess the risk of entry and spread of the pinewood nematode in France. The Agency summarises its recommendations on the use of wood and bark likely to be affected by this parasite. The risk of French forests becoming contaminated by the pinewood nematode has increased in recent years, mainly due to rising demand for wood chips and bark and the movement across Europe of huge volumes of contaminated products from Portugal and Spain. In 2018, bark and wood packaging infested with live pinewood nematodes was intercepted in France. Following a request by the Ministry of Agriculture, ANSES conducted several expert appraisals in order to provide guidance on the management measures to be applied to wood products. Pines are especially susceptible to the nematode through its insect vector In its first expert appraisal, ANSES stated that the risk of spread from a nematode outbreak was mainly associated with the ability of the insect vector, Monochamus galloprovincialis , to transmit the parasite from tree to tree. This beetle thrives in particular on nematode-contaminated trees, from which it will itself become contaminated. It may then fly to healthy trees, where it will feed and transmit the parasite. The risk of direct transmission of the nematode from infested bark and packaging was regarded as low due to its limited ability to survive and move, from bark to soil and then within soil. The Agency also identified the plant species most susceptible to this nematode and its insect vector. These are mainly species of the genus Pinus . At present, there are no species of pine established in Europe that are resistant to the pinewood nematode. Planting young seedlings of susceptible pine – especially maritime pine – in forests therefore increases the risk of the nematode becoming established in France. Recommendations to prevent the pinewood nematode spreading from the site of an outbreak Based on current scientific knowledge and the conclusions of its expert appraisal, the Agency has made a series of recommendations on outbreak management, in order to prevent the development of the insect vector and the spread of the nematode. Main recommendations if a nematode outbreak is detected: Remove forest species on which it can multiply: maritime pine, Scots pine, black pine, Monterey pine, and probably Aleppo pine and loblolly pine. For wood chips produced from susceptible species, require all dimensions to be less than 3 cm, as chips smaller than this can no longer harbour larvae of the insect vector. During the adult insect vector’s flying period, implement specific control and prevention measures such as the application of plant protection treatments or the use of insecticide-impregnated netting. Outside this flying period, no treatment is necessary in the forest because the insects are unable to fly to the products and by-products of wood harvesting to lay their eggs. To learn more about ANSES's work and recommendations on the pinewood nematode, read our article .

Decryption

Research on vectors undertaken at ANSES
05/01/2021

Research on vectors undertaken at ANSES

Some arthropods (a family that includes insects and arachnids) such as ticks and mosquitoes can transmit pathogens that cause diseases in animals, plants and/or humans. Several ANSES laboratories are studying vector-borne diseases transmitted to animals and the ability of vectors to transmit these pathogens.
One Health
16/11/2020

One Health

The "One Health" concept was first put forward in the early 2000s, with growing awareness of the close links between human health, animal health and the overall state of the environment. It aims to promote a multidisciplinary, global approach to health issues. ANSES's work is fully in line with the One Health concept, and the Agency is coordinating several projects based on it.
Toxic plants
18/05/2020

Toxic plants

Some toxic plants resemble edible plants and may be confused with them, not only in the wild but also in the garden or vegetable patch. Picking plants for consumption is not without risk: 250 cases of confusion are documented every year. ANSES and the network of poison control centres are drawing attention to the risks of mistaking toxic plants for edible ones. The Agency is calling for greater vigilance and has issued advice on avoiding the risk of poisoning.
The pinewood nematode: a threat to French conifers
27/02/2020

The pinewood nematode: a threat to French conifers

The pinewood nematode (Bursaphelenchus xylophilus) is a microscopic worm that affects conifers, especially maritime pine. It is a particularly destructive parasite responsible for severe dieback in pine forests. Transmitted by an insect vector, its spread is mainly due to the transport of wood or plants. If this parasite were introduced into France, the Landes area would be at risk due to the widespread presence of maritime pine. As the National and European Reference Laboratory for identification of the pinewood nematode, ANSES has conducted several expert appraisals to assess the risks of introduction and establishment of the organism in France and to recommend management measures for pine wood and bark.
Xylella fastidiosa, a threat to olive trees and hundreds of plants
22/10/2019

Xylella fastidiosa, a threat to olive trees and hundreds of plants

Xylella fastidiosa is a phytopathogenic quarantine bacterium that can infect more than 600 plant species, affecting major agricultural crops such as grapevines, citrus fruits, almonds and olives, as well as herbs and ornamental, forest and wild plants. There are currently no curative measures against this bacterium. To avoid the spread of the disease, therefore, contaminated plants must be grubbed up and destroyed, and the insect vectors controlled. Here is an update on the bacterium, and on what the ANSES Plant Health Laboratory (LSV) is doing to help combat this pest.
ANSES and biological pest control
22/07/2019

ANSES and biological pest control

Biological pest control products include macro-organisms (invertebrates, insects, mites and nematodes) and plant protection products containing micro-organisms (fungi, bacteria, viruses), chemical mediators such as sex pheromones (chemical substances produced by insects that play a role in sexual attraction) and natural plant, animal or mineral-based substances. In a context advocating reduced use of plant protection products, biological control is one solution that has been identified for reaching the goals of the Ecophyto 2018 plan. For this reason, the marketing and assessment procedures need to be adjusted. Indeed, while the principles of biological control promote the use of processes and interactions that already exist in nature, these products can present risks for the environment. ANSES has therefore been asked to assess them.
The red palm weevil
28/12/2018

The red palm weevil

What is the red palm weevil? The red palm weevil ( Rhynchophorus ferrugineus ) is a beetle that is a particular menace to palm trees. Originally from South and South-east Asia, it is now found in more than 60 countries, where it threatens date palms, ornamental palms and coconut palms. It has been present in France since 2006; it was first detected in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region (French Riviera) and has now become established in the Occitanie region and Corsica. The red palm weevil develops inside the stipe (trunk) of the tree, causing the palms to fall and the tree to die. It is often detected very late in palm trees, which is a major problem in the control of this pest. Once the palm weevil is established, the host tree dies after two to five years. In France, the main species threatened are the Date Palm ( Phoenix dactylifera ) and the Canary Island Date Palm ( Phoenix canariensis ). As it poses a global threat, an international action plan has been set up by the FAO to prevent the spread of the red palm weevil. In France, the red palm weevil has been classified as a Category 1 health hazard and has been the subject of a mandatory control strategy since 2010. This strategy is based on three key elements: monitoring and early detection of the presence of the pest; destruction of the contaminated plant or its infested parts; preventive treatments around infested palm trees to avoid any spread of the insect. ANSES’s work on the red palm weevil ANSES has worked on control of the red palm weevil on several occasions, in particular by assessing solutions for treating palm trees. It has also carried out an expert appraisal with a view to optimising strategies to control this pest..
Climate change and health
30/05/2018

Climate change and health

Climate change is a reality on which there is broad consensus in the scientific community. Because of the inertia of the climate system, changes to the climate related to human activities will continue for many years, regardless of any measures taken today. Combating climate change, which is part of a more global environmental change, is therefore essential to limit its magnitude.
Ragweed and allergies
15/12/2017

Ragweed and allergies

Between 1 and 3.5 million people in France are believed to be allergic to ragweed. Pollen from ragweed, an invasive plant originally from North America, has a major impact on the quality of life of allergy sufferers, causing sneezing, nasal congestion, conjunctivitis and redness or swelling of the eyelids. According to ANSES, the medical care associated with these allergies may cost between €59 million and €186 million per year.
Facilitating the marketing of biocontrol plant protection products
27/11/2017

Facilitating the marketing of biocontrol plant protection products

Biocontrol is one of the solutions that could facilitate the substitution of synthetic plant protection products by non-chemical alternatives, with a view to achieving the goals of the French Ecophyto 2018 plan to reduce pesticide use. Although they are of natural origin, these plant protection products still have to be scientifically assessed, in terms of their effectiveness and their safety to health and the environment, before they can be placed on the market. ANSES has set up a specific system to give priority to applications concerning biocontrol products, including shorter timeframes for their examination and reduced fees, with the aim of promoting their development.
ANSES: a brief outline
30/07/2015

ANSES: a brief outline

Created on 1 July 2010, the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety (ANSES) is an independent scientific body which performs its risk assessment, reference and research activities in the fields of food safety and animal and plant health. Its core activity is the assessment of health risks in order to enable the public authorities to make informed decisions and in so doing to help ensure the health and safety of of the population both in its working and consumer activities
Pine and oak processionary caterpillars
05/03/2014

Pine and oak processionary caterpillars

Processionary caterpillars are insects that are found in many regions of France, including urban areas. They compromise the health of trees, and also have an impact on human health as their bristles can cause inflammatory skin reactions, as well as more serious allergic reactions of the respiratory mucosa. ANSES, asked to assess alternatives to chemical treatment for the control of these insects, recommends a combination of preventive and curative measures.

Publications

Document PDF
Biological risks for plant health
Thematique
Plant health
Date de mise en ligne
03/06/2021
Numéro de saisine
2020-SA-0133
Document PDF
Biological risks for plant health
Thematique
Plant health
Date de mise en ligne
29/04/2020
Numéro de saisine
2019-SA-0080
Document PDF
Biological risks for plant health
Thematique
Plant health
Date de mise en ligne
25/06/2019
Numéro de saisine
2015-SA-0078
Document PDF
Biological risks for plant health
Thematique
Plant health
Date de mise en ligne
10/07/2019
Numéro de saisine
2016-SA-0235
Document PDF
Biological risks for plant health
Thematique
Plant health
Date de mise en ligne
23/10/2019
Numéro de saisine
2017-SA-0259