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Chemistry and the Environment Division (VI)


Number: 2001-022-1-600

Title: Global availability of information on agrochemicals

Task Group
J. Unsworth

Members: K. Bodnaruk, E. Carazo, A.S. Felsot, I. Ferris, C.A. Harris, P. Holland, H.-D. Jungblut, A. Katayama, Y.-H. Kim, G. Kleter, J. Linders, J. Outram, R. Parker, K.D. Racke, B. Rubin, G.R. Stephenson, K. Tanaka, and D. Wauchope

To 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. Information will be communicated via the world wide web.


Problem Statement
A tremendous amount of information related to the chemistry of agrochemicals has been generated and resides not only in the open literature but also in various government and industry files. This 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 Also included are unpublished reports and technical summaries of information from various advisory bodies, regulatory agencies and individual agrochemical companies.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 co-ordination to make this information widely available to interested regulators and research scientists on a world-wide 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 FAO/IAEA has initiated a project entitled INFOCRIS (International Food Contaminant and Residue Information System) to make agrochemical information more widely available to scientists in developing countries via the world-wide web as well as on a CD-ROM. However, it currently lacks the capability to populate the data matrix that has been created regarding information on agrochemical properties. Other organisations (e.g. Oregon State University, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Pesticide Action Network - PAN) are independently developing information systems based on the world-wide web. 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 under-utilized, and wider circulation on the web site 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

Information owners within regulatory agencies, the agrochemical industry and advisory bodies will be involved in the initial stages of the project regarding availability of documents related to pesticide properties, pesticide analytical methodology and regulatory standards. Project efforts will be divided into 2 primary areas.

First, a series of technical pesticide profiles (basic physical and chemical properties, environmental behaviour, toxicological and ecotoxicological endpoints) will be prepared for inclusion in the FAO/IAEA INFOCRIS system and also the IUPAC web site. To allow prioritisation of effort, a list of pesticide products for which technical profiles are most in demand will be developed. This list will be based on the following criteria 1) most common detection of residues in food commodities, 2) highest volume global distribution, 3) PIC-listed products, 4) recently introduced products. Based on the information collected from resource organisations, project team experts will prepare and arrange peer review of these technical profiles prior to their dissemination.

Second, an "Agrochemical Core Information" web page will be created on the IUPAC server to organise and disseminate available information. Key documents and reports will be directly stored on the IUPAC server and "hot" links will be established with other web sites on which key information is accessible. Types of documents to be stored will include 1) technical pesticide profiles, 2) glossary of terms for pesticide science, 3) recommended procedures for pesticide evaluation 4) listing of pesticide experts available via the IUPAC project system, 5) IUPAC project reports and recommendations. In addition, a comprehensive listing of major web site information links will be organised to include those of appropriate international organisations, industry and government with posted information on agrochemicals. Key information from the IUPAC web site will also be included in the INFOCRIS system for dissemination via a CD ROM.

Working Style
Following project approval the Task Group will develop a workplan and task assignment. Collaboration and joint sponsorship will be arranged with the FAO/IAEA INFOCRIS project. The majority of project work communication will occur via Email and phone conferences. At least one face-to-face working session of the project team will be required.

Meetings and telephone conferences have been held with FAO/IAEA and the INFOCRIS Project Manager in order to begin co-operation between this project and the IUPAC project. From this it was agreed to modify some of the Tables in the INFOCRIS system 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 "A critical compendium of pesticide physical chemistry data" (# 2003-011-3-600) in order to be able to utilise the output from this Project as part of the key data required for the information on agrochemicals. As a result of these meetings an initial list of 60 agrochemicals has been chosen for inclusion in the INFOCRIS/IUPAC projects. Again thanks to the support from FAO/IAEA the majority of profiles for these agrochemicals are now being prepared.

This project was presented at a poster session at the IUPAC Congress/GA July 2005
>view pdf - 112KB<

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. At this meeting a timetable was agreed for the project with a proposed launch of an IUPAC web page on "Information on Agrochemicals" at the IUPAC Pesticide Congress that will be held in Kobe in August 2006.

Last update: 26 April 2005

<project announcement published in Chem. Int. Jul-Aug 2005>


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