Location of Repository

The role of regulatory mechanisms for control of plant diseases and food security — case studies from potato production in Britain

By Katharina Dehnen-Schmutz, A. (Alan) MacLeod, P. (Peter) Reed and P. R. Mills


Being aware of the potentially devastating impacts of plant diseases on food security, governments have designed and employ plant health legislation to prevent or inhibit the worst impacts. The development of such policies in Britain, and latterly in Europe, can be closely linked to disease events that have occurred in the potato sector. We analyse early and current examples of policies governing potato diseases in Britain to identify the decision processes leading to the implementation of such phytosanitary policies and how they have evolved over time and in response to different disease threats. Reasons for developing and implementing phytosanitary policies include the desire to prevent pathogens being introduced (entering and establishing in a new area), the protection of export markets, and the lack of effective control measures. Circumstances in which regulatory policies would not be appropriate could include situations where a disease is already widely distributed, unacceptable costs, lack of exclusion measures, or difficulties of disease diagnosis. We conclude that in general, government policies have worked well in protecting British potato growing over the last one hundred years, despite of the failures of some of the policies discussed here. They have also contributed much to the development of plant health policies for other crops. Voluntary grower initiatives are a new mechanism complementing existing formal policies with an additional level of security that allows individual growers to take on additional responsibility rather than relying entirely on government legislation

Topics: HF, SB
Publisher: Springer Netherlands
Year: 2010
OAI identifier: oai:wrap.warwick.ac.uk:3386

Suggested articles



  1. (1992). (in press). Plant health and global change - some implications for landscape management. doi
  2. (2005). A new agenda for biosecurity. Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, UK. Horizon Scanning Programme.
  3. (2006). A review of potato blight - a disease of global significance.
  4. (2008). Agricultural biosecurity. doi
  5. (2008). Agriculture in the United Kingdom
  6. (2000). An economic evaluation of MAFF’s Plant Health programme. A report prepared for
  7. (1999). Bacterial diseases of potato: relevance to in vitro potato seed production. doi
  8. (2000). Blackleg risk potential of seed potatoes determined by quantification of tuber contamination by the causal agent and Erwinia carotovora subsp. atroseptica: a critical review. doi
  9. (2010). Comprehensive bioeconomic modelling for multiple harmful non-indignous species. doi
  10. (2007). Cost-effective control of a quarantine disease: A quantitative exploration using “Design of Experiments” methodology and bio-economic modeling. doi
  11. (2002). Council Directive 2002/56/EC of 13
  12. (1993). Council Directive 93/85/EEC of 4 doi
  13. (2004). De-scheduling of previously infested sites for potato wart disease in England and Wales.
  14. (1951). Development of the potato certification scheme for England and Wales.
  15. (2009). Dickeya Threat to Scottish Potato Crops - Consultation Paper Amendments Proposed to the Seed Potatoes
  16. (2008). Diseases, pests and disorders of potatoes. doi
  17. (2004). Emerging infectious diseases of plants: pathogen pollution, climate change and agrotechnology drivers. doi
  18. (2009). Erwinia chrysanthemi (Dickeya spp.) update. The Food and Environment Research Agency. Plant Clinic News.
  19. (2008). Evaluation of the impact on UK agriculture of the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the council concerning the placing of plant protection products on the market.
  20. (2010). Evolution of the international regulation of plant pests and challenges for future plant health. doi
  21. (2006). History of potato wart disease in Europe – a proposal for harmonisation in defining pathotypes. doi
  22. (1993). History, biology, and control of potato wart disease in Canada. doi
  23. (2005). Introduced species policy, management, and future research needs. doi
  24. (2007). Introductions of non-native plant pathogens into Great Britain, doi
  25. (1921). Notes for the month: Corky Scab of potatoes.
  26. (1969). on control of potato wart disease.
  27. (1996). Pathology and control of soil-borne fungal pathogens of potato. doi
  28. (2005). Plant disease: A threat to global food security. doi
  29. (1939). Plant Protection Agriculture in the twentieth century. Essays on research, practice, and organization to be presented to Sir Daniel Hall
  30. (1914). Potato diseases. doi
  31. (1983). Potato introductions and breeding up to the early 20th century. doi
  32. (2004). Potato ring rot outbreak:
  33. (1979). Potato wart disease and its legislative control in England and Wales. In:
  34. (1997). Powdery scab disease of potato - a review. doi
  35. (2003). Principles of plant health and quarantine. doi
  36. (1972). Report on diseases of cultivated plants in England and Wales for the years 1957-1968. doi
  37. (1944). Report on fungus, bacterial and other diseases of crops in England and Wales for the years 1933-1942. doi
  38. (1929). Report on the occurrence of fungus, bacterial and allied diseases of crops in England and Wales for the years
  39. (1926). Report on the occurrence of fungus, bacterial and allied diseases of crops in England and Wales for the years 1922-1924.
  40. (1922). Report on the occurrence of fungus, bacterial and allied diseases on crops in England and Wales for the years 1920-1921.
  41. (1918). Report on the occurrence of insect and fungus pests on plants in England and Wales in the year
  42. (2009). Safe Haven Certification Scheme. Potato Council.
  43. (2000). Survey of potato disease incidence. Project final report.
  44. (1969). The behaviour of potato mop-top virus in soil, and evidence for its transmission by Spongospora subterranea (Wallr.) Lagerh. doi
  45. (2007). The benefits and costs of specific phytosanitary campaigns in the UK: Examples that illustrate how science and economics support policy decision making. In: A. O. Lansink (Ed.) New Approaches to the economics of Plant Health doi
  46. (2008). The biosecurity threat to the UK and global environment from international trade in plants. doi
  47. (1949). The history and social influence of the potato. Cambridge: doi

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.