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EU plans revision of plant health rules

The European Commission plans to strengthen rules on controlling the emergence and spread of plant pests and diseases in the EU by 2012. The existing EU plant health regime dates back to 1977 and needs revising to account for globalisation and climate change, which are leading to a sharp increase in the impact of harmful organisms, the Commission notes. A new evaluation of the existing regime concludes that revisions should include: better prevention provisions concerning plant imports and plant products; improved surveillance and contingency planning for harmful organisms in member states; faster emergency action; prioritisation; and risk targeting.

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