Phytosanitary irradiation (PI) treatments are promising measures to overcome quarantine barriers to trade and are currently used in several countries. Although PI has advantages compared with other treatments one disadvantage bedevils research, approval, and application: organisms may remain alive after importation. Although this does not preclude their use as a phytosanitary treatment, it does leave the treatment without an independent verification of efficacy and places a greater burden for assuring quarantine security on the research supporting the treatment. This article analyses several factors that have been hypothesized to affect PI efficacy: low oxygen, pest stage, host, dose rate, and temperature. Of these factors, the first is known to affect efficacy, whereas host and dose rate probably need more research. The International Plant Protection Convention considered several PI treatments for its international standard on phytosanitary treatments and did not approve some at first because of perceived problems with the research or the presence of live adults after irradiation. Based on these concerns recommendations for research and dealing with the issue of live adults postirradiation are given. Generic PI treatments are suggested.
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Vol. 103 • No. 6