The Rosselkhoznadzor held a videoconference with the Secretariat for Plant and Animal Health of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply of Brazil (MAPA) on July 23.
The officials of the Attache for Agriculture at the Embassy of Brazil in the Russian Federation also participated in the meeting.
The dialogue concerned the issues related to the systematic detection of Megaselia scalaris (Loew) in tobacco raw materials supplied to the Russian Federation from the Latin American state.
Thus, 5 cases of the dangerous pest were detected in plant products from Brazil in 2020 and 7 cases have been detected since the beginning of 2021.
The Rosselkhoznadzor had previously informed the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply of Brazil on Megaselia scalaris detections, as well as urged the need for taking measures to prevent import of contaminated tobacco raw materials into the Russian Federation. However, to date the Russian Authority has not received information from the Brazilian party on the investigation results and the measures taken.
The Rosselkhoznadzor reminded its Brazilian colleagues that this is a quarantineable pest in Russia and the member countries of the Eurasian Economic Union.
The agency reported that the Megaselia scalaris (Loew) belongs to the universal pests. It has a high fecundity, which allows the species to develop in several generations continuously throughout the year in indoor conditions.
They cause miasis in domestic animals and humans, settle in skin wounds, in the intestines, in the lungs, on the mucous membrane of the eyes, in the organs of the genital and urinary system. The insect is a cholera vector.
Megaselia scalaris is a polyphage that lives in various organic residues of both plant (including vegetables, fruits, soil) and animal (on corpses and feces) origin. Under anthropogenic conditions, it infects many food products during long-term storage, in particular, flour, soy, potatoes, bananas, melon, cheese, dried fish, mushrooms, ripe vegetables and fruits. It causes significant damage to mushroom plantations, damaging the mycelium and fruit bodies of oyster mushrooms (Pleurotus spp.), champignons (Agaricus bisporus), truffles (Tuber spp.), etc. It is a honeybee parasite which causes colony collapse disorder.
This pest spread on the territory of Russia can lead to negative consequences for the agriculture of the Russian Federation.
In this regard, the Rosselkhoznadzor banned import of tobacco raw materials from Brazil to Russia on July 19, 2021.
The Brazilian authority confirmed that Megaselia scalaris is not included in the list of agricultural pests of Brazil, and therefore, this pest is not regulated in the country.
The foreign authority stated that all batches of these products are fumigated by the company authorized and controlled by the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply. MAPA agreed with the Rosselkhoznadzor regarding the possible entry of Megaselia scalaris when loading goods into containers in Brazilian ports. According to the Russian surveillance authority, this indicates an inefficient system of phytosanitary control in ports.
The Brazilian party promised to investigate the identified facts as soon as possible and take corrective measures to comply with international and Russian phytosanitary requirements for the supply of regulated products to the Russian Federation.