REPONSE Question écrite à la Commission E-002297-19 de Pascal Arimont (PPE) - Dispositions de l’UE en matière de protection des végétaux constituant un obstacle au commerce international

Niveau juridique : Union européenne

  • Texte de la question, en date du 8-07-2019

Subject: Oilseed rape crops at risk from a dangerous virus

Oilseed rape crops are at risk from the dangerous Turnip Yellows Virus (TuYV). Some two years ago, the company Limagrain launched a study on this virus in Romania, taking oilseed rape samples from all over the country.

The study showed the virus to be present in Romania at an average infestation rate of 81% on the sites tested. The virus starts to attack young plants in the autumn, causing the edges of their leaves to turn purple. It continues to attack plants at the leaf development stage in the spring, again causing purple discoloration of their leaves. This ultimately leads to the damaged leaves drying out, a loss of leaf mass and stunted seed pods with few seeds.

TuYV crop infections are very difficult to spot, but can result in a 25% loss in crop yield and a lower quality harvest.

What tools does the Commission have at its disposal to provide financial support for farmers who have experienced a significant drop in yields?

  • REPONSE du 2-09-2019

The EU has one of the strictest and most rigorous food safety control system in the world, while also being the biggest importer of food. One of the main principles is that food has to be safe whatever its origin, inside or outside the EU’s territory.

The regular review of active substances contained in plant protection products and their maximum residue levels (MRLs), as defined by the EU legislation, includes a rigorous science-based hazard and risk assessment conducted by the European Food Safety Authority and the national authorities of the Member States. The Commission’s decisions on setting MRLs for pesticides ensure a high level of consumer protection and are based on science.

The Commission provides extensive information in the meetings of the World Trade Organisation’s Committee on Sanitary and Phytosantiary Measures to respond to any concerns raised by non-EU countries about EU decisions on the approval of active substances or the setting of MRLs. The Commission will continue this practice.

The Commission assures the Honourable Member that the negotiation of trade agreements will not compromise on EU food safety standards.

Une des meilleures solutions pour lutter contre ce virus serait de semer une variété tolérante au virus de la jaunisse. Il est intéressant de noter que le député cite une étude réalisée par Limagrain pour appuyer sa question.