Mairead McGuinness MEP and Vice-President of the European Parliament has described as "incomplete" an EU Commission list of Invasive Alien Species (IAS), which require action by Member States to eradicate.
"These non-native species can cause economic/environmental harm or adversely affect human health and the list should reflect the real situation on the ground in Member States so that real action can be taken.
"I support the action of the Parliament's Environment Committee to reject the list until the Commission carries out the appropriate consultations in its preparatory work such as risk assessments and consultation with expert groups.
"Invasive alien specials are a serious concern for Ireland. The Japanese Knotweed is one plant which is of most concern, but it is not even on the Commission’s list," McGuinness said in Brussels.
"Japanese knotweed grows vigorously and outgrows native plants, thus reducing local plant biodiversity. It has negative consequences for our wildlife as large infestation of Japanese knotweed can block wildlife corridors such as rivers, hedgerows, roadsides and railways. Japanese knotweed can also seriously damage buildings, hard surfaces and infrastructure in some cases as it can grow through the hard tarmac."
"If we are to have a list then it should be compete and reflect the real problems in Member States", she added.