The French Ministry of Agriculture and Food confirmed presence of ToBRFV in the the farm of the agricultural high school of Sainte Livrade sur Lot (47110) on July 29, 2021. Samples were taken and sent for analysis to the national reference laboratory, Anses, following a routine control.
In accordance with the ministerial order of March 11, 2020 on the control of ToBRFV, the plants, fruits and substrates of the production unit will be destroyed and the unit concerned will be disinfected.
In addition, a traceability investigation on the plants and seeds from which they are derived is underway in order to determine the origin of the contamination and its extent. Controls will be set up in farms identified as having received plants from the same lot and a reinforced surveillance will be set up in farms located in the immediate vicinity of the contaminated area.
The French State reminds the necessity to respect strict biosecurity rules in all tomato and bell pepper nurseries and farms as a preventive measure, as this virus can be easily spread by simple contact. Staff working in greenhouses must particularly respect these rules as well as any external operator entering the farms.
Recommendations have been published in this sense for amateur gardeners, garden centers and producers (link).
It is also reminded that this virus is not transmissible to humans and has no effect on human health.
What is ToBRFV?
The Tomato Brown Rugose Fruit Virus (ToBRFV) is a dangerous virus for vegetable plants, especially tomatoes and peppers. It has no impact on humans. This virus was first detected in Europe in 2018 in Germany and Italy, and in 2019 in the Netherlands, United Kingdom and Greece.
A first outbreak in France was discovered in the Brittany region in early 2020 and has since been eradicated thanks to the joint action of professionals and state services.
This virus is mainly carried by plants and seeds, as well as by human activity (handling, tools, etc.).
During the year 2020, several alerts concerning seeds and plants contaminated by ToBRFV, mostly from other Member States and third countries, have been identified and withdrawn from the market, thus preventing further outbreaks.