According to the Counsellor of Agriculture, Rural Development, Climate Emergency and Ecological Transition, Mireia Molla, the detection of a batch of plant material infected with Xylella fastidiosa, which came from the USA and was trying to enter through the port of Castellón, has shown that the European regulations are insufficient to prevent the importation of pests.
"The Union must be more forceful and demand reciprocity in controls on products from third countries," she stressed.
Molla also said that Valencia's agriculture was experiencing a pandemic caused by the laxity of controls that only requires a certificate in origin, while the agricultural-food products of the Valencian Community must meet strict requirements to export to other countries.
She also urged the Ministry of Agriculture and the European Commission "to make PCR testing mandatory in order to minimize the risk that the plant material from other countries can pose on our agriculture."
"Xylella is not the only risk endangering our agriculture," the Counsellor said. The presence of the Xanthomonas citri bacterium was recently detected in a batch of imported lemons at the port of Valencia. This bacterium is responsible for cancrosis, "a devastating disease for citrus farming."
The Autonomous Administration has also warned that, due to the detections in the Community ports, importers were modifying their routes to enter ports with fewer controls on goods, such as Vigo or Rotterdam. According to sources from the Valencian Government, in the case of the Netherlands, in addition, they intend to eliminate the quarantine on the Orchid Fleck Virus, which causes citrus leprosis.
As a result of all this, the counselor made herself available to the Ministry to help bring about a regulatory change aimed at "protecting agriculture, the farmers who live from it and all people by implementing an urgent modification in the controls so that they meet reciprocity criteria and end the imports of new threats," she stated.