EPPO Expert Working Group for performing a PRA on Parthenium hysterophorus
Parthenium hysterophorus;(Asteraceae) is an annual plant (or short-lived perennial under certain conditions) native to the subtropics of North and South America. Within the EPPO region, the species is so far only officially recorded in Israel. P. hysterophorus is reported as a weed in pastures and in several crops (e.g. cereals, vegetables, alfalfa, clover, sugarcane, orchards). For example, in Ethiopia, the yield in Sorghum bicolor grain was reduced by 40 to 97% when P. hysterophorus was left uncontrolled throughout the season. Frequent contact with the plant or its pollen can produce serious allergic reactions such as dermatitis, hay fever and asthma in humans, but also in livestock.
The species was added to the;EPPO Alert List;in 2012. The Working Party on Phytosanitary Regulations decided in June 2012 that a Pest Risk Analysis (PRA) should be performed for this species. An Expert Working Group on P. hysterophorus met in Paris in 2013-07-02/05 to perform a PRA, on the basis of the hundreds of scientific publications available on the species. The overall conclusion of the PRA was that, if the pest spreads further in the EPPO region, it would be likely to establish in the EPPO Mediterranean countries and result in economic damage and health impacts.
A summary of the risk assessment is available on the EPPO website: http://www.eppo.int/MEETINGS/2013_meetings/EWG_PTNHY.htm
EPPO Secretariat (2013-08).