Group of experts refutes EU position on black spot

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Group of experts refutes EU position on black spot

Following a public invitation from the EU for comments, an international group of experts has spoken out against the European evaluation of citrus black spot risk. The response comes shortly after exclusion of South African citrus from the European market due to mandarins_ffpexcessive detections of the pathogen.

The working group represents interests from Brazil's Fundecitrus and Instituto Biológico, South Africa's Citrus Research Internacional, the United States Department of Agriculture, the Australian Department of Agriculture and specialists from Argentina.

The group has refuted the position taken by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) which argues that the entrance of citrus contaminated with black spot could threaten the local  industry and promote plant pathogen Phyllosticta citricarpa.

The EFSA welcomed public comments on the topic on July 31, requesting comments on scientific research on Xanthomonas campestris, the cause of citrus canker and Phyllosticta citricarpa, the cause of black spot.

The opinion from the international working group focused on perceived faults in the research and argues no clear evidence has indicated that black spot may be spread through infected fruit.

The response also highlights environmental conditions and indicates that the pathogen does not spread in Mediterranean climates.


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