Division of Food Production and Society

Risk management of imported plants and seeds: possibilities for improved pest detection to prevent the introduction and spread of new pests

Active Last updated: 25.09.2021
End: may 2024
Start: jun 2020

Plant pathogens and invertebrates harmful to plants continue to threatenfood security and natural habitats. In Norway, the responsibility of performingplant health inspections on imported plants has gradually shifted to importersof plants who are currently responsible for internal pest control and mustbe registered with the Norwegian Food Safety Authority.

Status Active
Start - end date 01.06.2020 - 31.05.2024
Project manager Frode Veggeland
Division Division of Food Production and Society
Department Economics and Society
Total budget 8000000

This plant healthsystem poses several challenges to import risk analysis due to the greatvariety of importers (e.g. professional business, individuals like farmersand garden owners) and thus of capacities to comply with rules. Therefore,research is needed on how the current regulatory framework affects theeffectiveness of import risk analysis. STOPPest asks What are the conditionsfor effective management of plant health with regard to plant imports

Its main objective is to produce knowledge on the conditions for effectivemanagement of plant health regarding plant imports. We will analyze threecase studies: strawberry plants, ornamentals, and seeds. We will map andassess the regulatory framework, review existing research on biological risksand analyze the importers´ behavior and practices to identify the weakness in the current system.

We will implement an interdisciplinary researchdesign and do a triangulation of methods, i.e. document analysis, interviews,focus groups, survey and biological testing (WP2) to compare the resultsof inspections performed by importers and professional inspectors (NIBIOscientists). In WP3, we will do an interdisciplinary and participatory synthesisof the knowledge and results of WP2 by using causal loop diagramming toexamine how the regulatory framework for imported plants and seeds can beimproved, and what are the necessary conditions for enabling plant importersto ensure a satisfactory phytosanitary status.