The European Commission is planning an audit for September 2017, to determine whether the Netherlands has taken the correct measures to fight the Ralstonia solanacearum bacterium. It might be followed by emergency measures against Ralstonia solanacearum in rose within the EU.
The Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA) explained to the EU what has been done to eradicate Ralstonia solanacearum in rose and what’s being done in 2017 to reduce the chances of a reintroduction of the bacterium in rose. The European Commission is planning an audit for September 2017, to determine whether the Netherlands has taken the correct measures. The audit findings will determine whether any emergency measures for Ralstonia solanacearum in rose will be introduced within the EU.
It’s not uncommon for the EU to conduct an audit in a member state in response to the outbreak of a (new) disease. They do this, on one hand to learn more about that particular country’s approach to eradicating the bacterium and on the other hand, to determine if the member state took sufficient and correct measures to prevent further spread within their own country as well as within the EU. The only other audit in the Dutch horticultural sector so far was in 2008, in response to the outbreak of PSTVd in solanum jasminoides, an organism that hadn’t been detected in this crop ever before.
In 2015 and 2016, an Rsol infection was discovered at fifteen rose companies, growers and propagators. As it concerned a quarantine organism, companies were obliged to clear their crops. The businesses suffered damages of millions of euros and the government indicated that they couldn’t help out. Several legal procedures with regards to the measures that NVWA imposed and the requests for compensation for loss are still ongoing.
All outbreaks of Rsol in rose in the Netherlands concerned young plants. It was the first time worldwide, that Rsol was detected in rose. Following the outbreak of Ralstonia solanacearum in rose in Netherlands, the NVWA checked all orders from infected propagation companies, that were shipped to EU member states (including Switzerland). This is one of the requirements stated in the EU regulations. Based on the supplier information, the member states involved traced the orders and all companies that had received them were inspected. The bacteria was found in Belgium, Germany, Austria, Poland, Portugal and Switzerland.