Media monitoring as an additional means of identifying plant pests
In its work to monitor and detect new plant pests, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) regularly analyses the scientific literature, as well as the professional and general media. This monitoring is complementary to other existing surveillance systems. In particular, it enables the detection of very localised damage caused by organisms that are not subject to mandatory reporting.
In the framework of the EFSA-funded project "Horizon scanning for plant health", the Biological Risk Assessment (ERB) unit of the Plant Health Laboratory was selected to improve this media monitoring system. The ERB unit's contribution was to identify new media to be monitored in the database. It also expanded the range of keywords related to insect pests and plant pathogens, as well as the languages to be considered. The ERB unit also helped design a newsletter of scientific articles, in order to regularly provide those in charge of monitoring plant pests and the European Commission with the information found in this literature watch. ANSES has just published a report outlining the methodology developed to achieve these objectives, as well as the project’s results for 2018 and 2019.