27 No. 4
Global Availability of Information on Agrochemicals
A tremendous amount of information related to the chemistry of agrochemicals has been generated, which resides not only in the open literature but also in various government and industry files. This information includes reports and recommended approaches developed by IUPAC projects on agrochemicals during the past 20 years. Also included are unpublished reports and technical summaries of information from various advisory bodies, regulatory agencies, and individual agrochemical companies.
However, there is a lack of coordination to make this information widely available to interested regulators and research scientists on a worldwide basis. As a result, decisions at a local level may be made or new research programs initiated without taking into account available information. Thus, the Food And Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the International Atomic Energy Agency (FAO/IAEA) has initiated a project entitled INFOCRIS (International Food Contaminant and Residue Information System), which will utilize the Internet and CD-ROMs, to make agrochemical information more widely available to scientists in developing countries.
However, the FAO/IAEA currently lacks the capability to populate the data matrix that has been created regarding information on agrochemical properties. Other organizations (e.g., Oregon State University, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Pesticide Action Network [PAN]) are independently developing information systems on the Internet. With such a multitude of sites offering information on agrochemicals, there is a need to establish an authoritative site which can ensure the involvement of all information owners in the process.
IUPAC offers the opportunity for an unbiased and authoritative effort based on the collaboration of government, academic, and industry scientists. In addition, IUPAC reports and recommendations related to agrochemicals are poorly known and underutilized, and wider circulation on the Internet will increase the profile and influence of the Union. Finally, access to information on the most recently introduced pesticides tends to be difficult to obtain, and involvement of industry in the IUPAC project will provide access to a major, untapped source of information.
The outcome of this project will increase the global availability of information on the chemistry of agrochemicals, including methods for testing and evaluation, summaries of properties for individual pesticides, and regulatory standards for pesticides.
Meetings and telephone conferences have been held with FAO/IAEA and the INFOCRIS project manager in order to begin cooperation. Based on these communications, it was agreed that some of the tables in the INFOCRIS system should be modified so that they were more closely aligned with the criteria laid down in the project description. These changes were adopted by FAO/IAEA and, thanks to their support, have now been put in place. Consequently, a revised version of INFOCRIS will be available shortly.
Additionally, a meeting was held with members of the IUPAC
project titled “A Critical Compendium of Pesticide Physical
Chemistry Data” (#
2003-011-3-600) so that information from this project
could be utilized. As a result of these meetings, an initial
list of 60 agrochemicals has been chosen for inclusion in
the INFOCRIS/IUPAC project. Again, thanks to the support of
FAO/IAEA, the majority of profiles for these agrochemicals
are now being prepared.
A draft Web page has been proposed and submitted to members of the task group and discussed at a recent meeting of the Advisory Committee on Crop Protection Chemistry in Costa Rica (see Conference Call). At this meeting a timetable was agreed upon for the project. The proposed launch for the IUPAC Web page on “Information on Agrochemicals” is the IUPAC Pesticide Congress, which will be held in Kobe, Japan, in August 2006 (see Where 2B & Y).
For more information and comments, contact the Task Group Chairman John Unsworth <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
last modified 17 June 2005.
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