Consultation asks growers for views on tomato virus policy

The Food & Environment Research Agency (FERA) is asking growers for assistance in developing the UK's policy on the pepino mosaic virus (PepMV).

The virus mainly affects tomatoes and was first reported in the EU by the Netherlands and then the UK in 1999. It had been reported in 19 out of 27 EU member states 10 years later.

A set of EU emergency measures to prevent the introduction and movement of PepMV via tomato seed has existed since 2004.

But the European Commission is due to review its policy. The European & Mediterranean Plant Protection Organisation has drawn up a pest risk analysis of the current situation in Europe and recommended that statutory action should be taken to prevent the virus in tomato seeds.

FERA said it was interested to find out whether growers think action should be taken if it is also found in tomato plants and fruits.

- The consultation can be found at Please respond to by 23 March.

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