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Making and implementing program decisions in regulatory plant pathology.
T. S. SCHUBERT (1). (1) Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services, Gainesville, FL, U.S.A.

Regulatory plant pathology (Rpp) strives to modify human behavior as it relates to plant health. It can assume many forms besides the obvious quarantine in the quest to minimize pest damage. Major goals are primarily to prevent or delay infection, or secondarily to minimize the spread and impact of pests as much as possible. Combinations of pure Rpp with other means of plant disease management are common. Rpp problems are usually urgent due to the dispersal potential of the pest, the brief window of economic opportunity and the limited useful life of the commodity. Such conditions preclude long, thoughtful decision-making, and call for speedy responses based on information in hand. Anticipating and preparing for potential incursions is fundamental, but adaptations and adjustments on the fly are frequently required. Phytopathologists naturally tend to presume that biological scientific criteria for decision-making are the most important or even the exclusive criteria, and may be dismayed to learn that economics, ecology, logistics, politics, public relations and legal matters also have a say in the decision process. Subordination of biological components to these other criteria should be expected under certain circumstances. Advocating for the biological science aspects in the combined arena is vital. Rpp practitioners would benefit from more direct interaction, interdisciplinary training and cooperation in these other criteria to optimize regulatory decisions and implementation.<p><p>Keywords:

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