Global Agriculture

Horizon scanning in plant health: EFSA and ANSES organise first international workshop

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16 April 2024, EU: The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety (ANSES) organised the first in a series of four international workshops on horizon scanning in plant health. Held at ANSES headquarters in Paris on 9-10 April 2024, the event marked a step forward for plant health by bringing together global expertise, fostering collaboration and shaping the future of horizon scanning for possible emerging risks.

Participants included representatives from the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC), the European Plant Protection Organisation (EPPO), CABI, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, the French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (CIRAD), the United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA APHIS) and the World Health Organization (WHO). They were joined by experts from Africa, India, and New Zealand as well as members from academia. 

During the two-day workshop, participants explored general concepts of horizon scanning and shared their different experiences with it in the context of biological invasions. Tools and methods related to horizon scanning were also discussed. The overall objective of the workshop was to create an international community of experts and risk assessors and to facilitate knowledge sharing and the use of common tools to enhance horizon scanning efforts in plant health.


EFSA received its first mandate on horizon scanning for plant health from the European Commission in December 2016. Since then, it has been working with the JRC and ANSES, systematically screening scientific literature and media sources to identify signals of new, emerging, or recurring pests that may be of potential concern for the EU territory. 

The findings feed into a monthly newsletter published in the EFSA Journal, which is shared with the European Commission and Member State plant health authorities to bolster the EU’s preparedness to address emerging plant health risks. EFSA’s Horizon Scanning Dashboard makes these findings available online in an interactive format.

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