The USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is issuing a Federal Order to prohibit the importation of plants used for planting (not including seed) that are hosts of Tomato torrado virus (ToTV) and Tomato severe leaf curl virus (ToSLCV) from all countries, except Canada. To prevent the introduction and dissemination of these harmful plant pathogens into the United States, this Federal Order is effective beginning June 1, 2009.
Recent scientific literature identified ToTV as a destructive plant pathogen that seriously reduces plant growth and yields on a number of hosts, including Solanum lycopersicum (tomato). Tomato is also host to number of begomoviruses, including ToSLCV, that are quarantine pests for the United States and are major constraints to vegetable production. Both pests appear to be transmitted by and are likely persistent in the whitefly vector that could transmit the virus to a large number of host plants during the growing season.
ToTV and ToSLCV are not known to occur in the United States and are not known to be seed-transmitted. Plant pathogens, including viruses and viroids are extremely difficult to detect during a port of entry inspection of the host plants, particularly in the absence of symptoms.
In order to prevent the entry of ToTV and ToSLCV, APHIS has determined that it is necessary to prohibit the importation of Lycopersicon spp., Capsicum spp., Solanum (including Lycopersicon) spp., Chenopodium spp., Polygonum spp., Atriplex spp., Halogetum spp., Nicotiana spp., Lepidium (synonyms Senebiera, Coronopus) spp., Spergularia spp., Amaranthus spp., and Malva spp. plants for planting, with the exception of seed, until a pest risk analysis has been completed and appropriate effective mitigations measures have been established.
Under IPPC Standards, Tomato torrado virus is considered to be a pest that is absent: no pest records in the United States.
Under IPPC Standards, Tomato severe leaf curl virus is considered to be a pest that is absent: no pest records in the United States.