Health and environmental risks of using Nemaslug 2.0
Report no: 2021:16
Available evidence suggests that while the nematode Phasmarhabditis californica is not present in Norway, the bacterium Moraxella osloensis is present.
Thus concludes the Norwegian Scientific Committee for Food and Environment (VKM) in a risk assessment of the species.
The background for the assessment is an application for approval of the pesticide Nemaslug 2.0 for use in Norway. Nemaslug 2.0 contains the nematode Phasmarhabditis californica (strain P19D) and the bacterium Moraxella osloensis (unknown strain).
The nematode, first described in 2016, has never been reported found in Norway.
"The lack of reports suggests that the nematode is absent from the Norway. However, this conclusion comes with a high degree of uncertainty since few investigations of nematodes associated with snails in Norway have been carried out. In addition, the climactic requirements for the nematode are also unknown, but its current distribution in areas with widely varying climates suggests that it can survive and establish itself in Norway,” explains Johan Stenberg. He has been the scientific leader of the project group.
The bacterium is already in Norway.
"The bacterium Moraxella osloensis is already present in Norway, and may be native,” says Stenberg.
Risk to health and the environment
"The nematode is not capable of infecting people," assures Stenberg, adding “yet the bacterium can infect humans and other mammals.” However, the probability of infection for users of Nemaslug 2.0 can be significantly reduced by using protective clothing and appropriate handling. VKM is not aware of any reported health problems after using the previous version of Nemaslug, which also contains M. osloensis.
The risk assessment has been approved by VKM's Panel on Plant Health and was carried out on behalf of the Norwegian Food Safety Authority.