Plant Health

Pest risk assessment concerning import of “Jumping Beans” to Norway


Report no: 2008: 33

Published: 02.07.2008

Main message:

“Jumping Beans” are seed capsules containing larvae that make the capsule move, something that makes “Jumping Beans” popular as a toy. The Norwegian Scientific Committee for Food Safety (VKM) concludes that neither the larvae nor the plants that the seeds come from have the potential to establish in Norway.

Commercial products sold as “Jumping Beans” are seed capsules of the desert scrubs Sebastiana pavoniana, S. palmeri or S. bilocularis containing larvae of the insect Cydia deshaisiana (commonly called Cydia saltitans).

To ensure a satisfying basis for a decision whether to allow import and sales of “Jumping Beans” in the future the Norwegian Food Safety Authority requested a pest risk assessment of “Jumping Beans” from VKM.


VKM’s Panel on plant health has the following main conclusions of the pest risk assessment:

  • The moth C. deshaisiana depends on a host plant not present in Norway to complete its life cycle. Consequently C. deshaisiana is unable to establish in Norway, both in agriculture, greenhouse crops and nature. It is therefore concluded that C. deshaisiana does not have the potential to be a plant pest in Norway.
  • The host plants are the desert scrubs S. pavoniana, S. palmeri and S. bilocularis. They are distributed in Mexico and in Southern USA, and are absent in Norway. The plants cannot grow outdoors in Norway, and have no commercial value for glasshouse production. It is therefore concluded that the three plant host species S. pavoniana, S. palmeri, and S. bilocularis do not have the potential to become invasive species in Norway.
  • As the host plants only grow under extreme hot, desert conditions, the expected climate changes in northern Europe will not lead to an establishment and spread of C. deshaisiana in Norway in the foreseeable future.
  • The current pest risk assessment of “Jumping Beans” end at the stage of pest categorization. This is according to the international standard ISPM No. 11 (FAO, 2004).
  • There is very low uncertainty in the current pest risk assessment.

The VKM Panel on Plant Health has been responsible for the risk assessment.

The risk assessment was published July 2nd 2008.


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