b'TRUST, TRANSPARENCY AND COMMUNICATION:THE WAY FORWARD TOPREVENT PEST TRANSMISSIONA CLOSER LOOK AT EMERGING PLANT DISEASES AND STRATEGIES FOR THEIR MITIGATION.BY: MARCEL BRUINSWHY IT MATTERS T he regulations regarding emerging inter-national plant diseases exhibit significant Over the past fewvariation across countries, reflecting diverse years, emerging plantapproaches to seed health and governance. Each diseases have garnerednation adopts its own set of guidelines, protocols, significant attention atand measures in response to such diseases, leading the international level,to a complex landscape of regulatory frameworks. prompting regulatorySouza-Richards emphasizes that these discrep-actions in variousancies can have notable implications for interna-countries. Unfortunately,tional trade. national and regionalVariances in seed health regulations may regulations often lackcreate challenges for businesses involved in alignment, resulting incross-border trade as they navigate differing trade disruptions. Seedrequirements and compliance standards. The World Europe potential for disruptions in supply chains, tradeexplores these challenges, seekingrestrictions, and increased transaction costs arisesJack Metzelaarinsights from experts indue to these regulatory disparities, she says.the field. Emerging plantMoreover, divergent approaches to seed diseases are persistenthealth regulation can impact the overall stabil- DRAWBACKS OF CURRENT threats to the food andity and predictability of international markets.REGULATIONS cash crops that are oftenDifferences in border control measures mayAccording to Souza-Richards, the current regu-critical for global foodinfluence the movement of goods, affecting thelatory approach to managing emerging diseases security. These threatssmooth flow of international trade. in seeds presents several drawbacks that warrant can be particularlyAddressing these discrepancies calls forconsideration. One key challenge is the potential devastating in limited- enhanced collaboration and coordination amonglack of uniformity in regulations across different resource countries,nations to establish more harmonized and stream- regions or countries, she says. where they exacerbatelined regulatory frameworks," says Souza-Richards.Divergent standards and requirements can ongoing challenges inSuch efforts would contribute to fostering resilientcreate confusion for seed producers and traders, crop production. Seedand efficient international trade systems in the facehindering the global movement of seeds.World Europe of emerging global seed health challenges.Metzelaar underlines that anything that isspoke with Jack Metzelaar, DirectorArguably, the single biggest challenge for thead-hoc makes it difficult to manage sudden change. of Industry Affairs atseed sector is the timely and coordinated recog- The cycles in seed production are such that it Limagrain Vegetablenition of the importance of an emerging disease.is not possible to make important changes [quickly] Seeds and Dr. Rose SouzaIn some cases, a disease is already consideredin choosing sites and countries for production and Richards, Phytosanitaryendemic by the sector by the time the Nationaleven research, he says. If there would be clearer Affairs Manager atPlant Protection Organization (NPPO) of oneand more transparent communication between all the International Seedcountry decides to start regulating it.parties involved at an early stage, appreciation of Federation (ISF). The reaction time of the NPPO of a majorrisk and prevention management would be possible, country of seed supply can then be long, as [thethus creating immediate risk mitigation.emerging disease] is simply not recognized as aBoth agree that the delay in updating regu-major issue, says Metzelaar. The sector then islations to address new and evolving threats, along at risk to lose important seed production oppor- with the delay in eliminating outdated and obso-tunities, or counter season nurseries for researchlete requirements that lack technical justification are put at peril with little or no possibility to findfor the listed pests, are both notable drawbacks to alternatives. the existing systems.6ISEED WORLD EUROPEISEEDWORLD.COM/EUROPE'