Welcome to the AGRO 50th Anniversary Timeline
AGRO Division was given Full Division Status in 1970. The purpose of this timeline is to highlight AGRO history along with important scientific and regulatory developments in agrochemicals.
Golden Pacific Laboratories 25th Anniversary
Golden Pacific Laboratories 25th anniversary since its beginning in 1997.
USDA Economic Research Service Report on Economic and Food Security Impacts of Agricultural Input Reduction Under the EU Green Deal’s Farm to Fork and Biodiversity Strategies
Economic modeling to assess the impact of EU Green Deal Policies (Farm to Fork and Biodiversity) estimates higher food prices under these scenarios and would increase the number of food-insecure people in the world’s most vulnerable nations. ERS examines the economic implications of the European Commission’s proposal to impose restrictions on European Union (EU) agriculture through targeted reductions in the use of land, fertilizers, antimicrobials, and pesticides.
Citrus greening – detection
Dogs specially trained by Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists have proven to be the most efficient way to detect huanglongbing—also known as citrus greening.
AGRO Division membership is ~1250
Source: June 2020 roster
AGRO celebrates 50th anniversary virtually
Celebration and Education Event for AGRO Division within ACS.
BASF’s cinmethylin receives first new mode of action classification by Herbicide Resistance Action Committee since 1985
The active ingredient cinmethylin is is an Herbicide Resistance Action Committee (HRAC) class “Group Q” or “30”, which stands for the inhibition of the enzyme family fatty acid thioesterase (FAT). These enzymes are vital for plant cell membrane development and function. Their inhibition disrupts germination and the emergence of grass weeds. This active fills a need for effective and sustainable grass weed management programs, where rotating multiple modes of action is essential to fight resistance.
Source: AGRO WEEKLY June 9, 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic is a formidable global public health challenge. Since the initial emergence of a novel coronavirus in late 2019, the spread of SARS-CoV-2 has been unrelenting, impacting nearly every aspect of society worldwide. The pandemic has required a substantial response by public health authorities at all levels.
UN Sustainability Development Goals
The Sustainable Development Goals or Global Goals are a collection of 17 interlinked global goals designed to be a “blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all”. The SDGs were set up in 2015 by the United Nations General Assembly and are intended to be achieved by the year 2030. They are included in a UN Resolution called the 2030 Agenda or what is colloquially known as Agenda 2030. The SDGs were developed in the Post-2015 Development Agenda as the future global development framework to succeed the Millennium Development Goals which ended in 2015.
EU “From Farm to Fork” Policy
“EU food system move towards making food systems more sustainable. The EU Farm to Fork strategy aims to:
a. reduce dependency on pesticides and antimicrobials,
b.reduce excess fertilization,
c.increase organic farming
d.improve animal welfare (AMR)
e.reverse biodiversity loss . The Farm to Fork plan drives to reduce pesticide use by EU farmers by as much as 50% and reduce fertilizer use by 20%. In livestock, the plan focuses on reducing antimicrobial use by 50% as well. The EU strategy also calls for further reduction in land for crop use, idling as much as 10% of existing farmland as well.”
EU Commission Green Deal Policy
The European Green Deal is a set of policy initiatives by the European Commission with the overarching aim of making Europe climate neutral in 2050. The plan is designed for boosting the economy, improving people’s health and quality of life, caring for nature, and leaving no one behind.
US International Trade Commission Report on Global Economic Impact of Low and Missing Pesticide Maximum Residue Levels
AGRO has now sponsored 106 ACS Symposium books
There are 106 published ACS Symposium books sponsored by AGRO through the years covering a wide range of topics. Check them out at agrodiv.org under the Publications tab.
EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler signs a directive for reduced animal testing
The bold memorandum calls for the agency to reduce its requests for, and funding of, mammal studies by 30 percent by 2025, and eliminate all mammal study requests and funding by 2035. The memo references new approach methods (NAMs), which include any technologies, methodologies, approaches or combinations thereof that can be used to provide information on chemical hazard and potential human exposure that can avoid or significantly reduce the use of testing on animals.
Corteva Agriscience formed from combination of Dow AgroSciences and DuPont interests
On June 1, 2019 Corteva Agriscience spun off from DowDuPont to become the largest US-based crop protection and seed companies, with more than 21,000 employees. DowDuPont had been formed August 31, 2017 as a combination of all Dow Chemical Company and DuPont interests.
8,495,229 Acres US farmland estimated by USDA for Organic Production
Ongoing responses to Dirty Dozen Lists from Alliance for Food and Farming
USDA and FDA reports show both organic and conventional food is safe and that the notorious “Dirty Dozen” list is doing more harm than good for Americans. According to the sampling data, 99 percent of residues on fruits and vegetables, when present at all, are well below safety levels set by the EPA.
BASF acquires acquisition of businesses and assets from Bayer
BASF signed agreements in October 2017 and April 2018 to acquire the businesses and assets Bayer offered to divest in the context of its acquisition of Monsanto. The transaction is a strategic complement to BASF’s crop protection, biotech and digital farming activities and marks its entry into seeds, non-selective herbicides and nematicide seed treatments.
Source: Member knowledge
First EPA approve RNAi pesticide
The EPA first approved an RNAi pesticide in 2017. That product, called SmartStax Pro, is a GM corn seed that will deploy both transgenic insecticidal proteins and RNAi to fight western and northern corn root- worm
Citrus greening – investments
USDA Invests $13.6 Million in Citrus Greening Research.
ChemChina, majority state-owned, bought Syngenta for US $43 billion
Despite the global restructure grouping the Chinese, Swiss and Israeli-based chemical operations under one umbrella, they will continue to operate as individual entities, with a fourth division, Syngenta’s seeds business.
Top five ag chem companies are: Bayer, Syngenta, Corteva, BASF, FMC.
Next five are projected as: Nufarm, United Phosphorous, Sumitomo, AMVAC and Albaugh
AGRO Strategy Retreat
AGRO Vision revised as: Fostering sustainable agriculture and protecting public health through chemistry. AGRO Mission: Bringing together a worldwide community of scientists and stakeholders to advance knowledge and promote innovative solutions for the protection of agricultural productivity, public health, and environment.
EPA publishes Framework for Screening Analysis Approach to Cumulative Risk Assessment
ChemChina acquires the final 40% of Adama
Pesticide industry Task Force was established to improve methods and to compile and develop data to inform US EPA’s risk assessment process for pollinators.
EPA publishes updated approaches to EDSP
Building on several previous SAPs, EPA publishes a Federal Register Notice for alternative scientific approaches to screen chemicals for their ability to interact with the endocrine system. The approach incorporates validated high throughput assays and computational models as an alternative for some current assays in the Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program (EDSP) Tier 1 battery.
EPA Releases EDSP Results for 52 Pesticide Chemicals
EPA released reviews of the Tier 1 screening assay results for the first 52 pesticide chemicals (active and inert ingredients) in the Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program. For each chemical, EPA decided whether additional (Tier 2) testing is necessary.
EU DC-SANCO and DG-SANTE
The Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety (DG SANTE), until 2014 known as the Directorate-General for Health and Consumers (DG SANCO), is a Directorate-General of the European Commission. The DG is responsible for the implementation of European Union laws on the safety of food and other products, on consumers’ rights and on the protection of people’s health. In 2006, DG Sanco launched the public Health-EU portal to provide European citizens with easy access to comprehensive information on Public Health initiatives and programmes at EU level.
Biotechnology is fastest adopted crop technology in modern ages
Farmers in 28 countries planted a record 181.5 million hectares last year – up from 175.2 million in 2013. For the third straight year, developing countries grew the majority of biotech crops. Bangladesh became the newest adopter of plant biotechnology, growing the first-ever commercialized insect-resistant biotech brinjal. Overall biotech has increased crop production and improved farm incomes by $133 billion since the first varieties were planted in 1996.
13th IUPAC International Congress of Pesticide Chemistry
This 13th IUPAC Congress was organized by AGRO as part of the ACS national meeting in San Francisco. More than 1200 attendees were attracted to participate in a program that featured around 1,000 lecture and poster presentations. In addition to a positive financial outcome, AGRO membership experienced a significant increase.
President Obama establishes a government Task Force on Pollinator Health
Government Task Force established to develop a national pollinator health strategy.
Source: Presidential Memorandum – Creating a Federal Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators
North American Guidance for assessing pesticide risk to bees
North American regulatory agencies publish formal guidance for assessing the risk of pesticides to bees.
Source: Guidance document available at epa.gov
BASF Agricultural Center Limburgerhof celebrated its 100-year jubilee
One hundred years ago, the breakthrough was fertilizers. In the 2000s, key products include the blockbuster fungicide pyraclostrobin, saflufenacil herbicide and new insecticides afidopyropen and broflanilide. Recent acquisitions of glufosinate products and seeds and traits are the latest additions to the BASF product portfolio.
Korea emerges as a superpower in biotechnology research
Biotechnology R&D in Korea is being carried out on 58 varieties of 13 crops, including rice, soybeans, cabbage, and red peppers.
USDA creates multi-agency emergency response framework to combat devastating citrus disease known as Citrus Greening or Huanglongbing (HLB).
Official ECM Guideline Published (EPA)
Guidance is published for method of analysis of environmental matrices to support pesticide registrations at US EPA. This standardization is aimed to improve environmental fate and effects reviews.
First AGRO Innovation Awardee: Steven J. Lehotay
AGRO Award for Innovation in Chemistry of Agriculture 2012 was presented to Steven J. Lehotay, USDA-ARS.
US EPA Scientific Advisory Panel on Pesticide Risk Assessment for Pollinators
EPA’s proposed methodology for pollinator risk assessments for pesticides was presented and reviewed by EPA’s SAP.
At the G8 Summit, Syngenta announces it will invest more than $500 million to build a $1 billion business in Africa over 10 years
Agricultural development addresses food security and poverty by linking people, land, and technology.
Extensive contribution of John Casida published in summary
“Article: Curious about Pesticide Action
Author: John E. Casida*
Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 2011, 59, 7, 2762-2769; Article lists publications (754) and patents (31) of John Casida for the period 1951−2009. ”
SETAC Pellston workshop on Pesticide Risk Assessment for Pollinators
Results of key workshop helped inform development of US EPA risk assessment paradigm.
Source: Publication: Pesticide Risk Assessment for Pollinators, D. Fischer and T. Moriarty eds
Delaney clause repealed
Risk of cancer calculated on a more, sound scientific basis.
37,000,000 US birds certified by USDA as organic poultry
5,383,119 Acres US farmland certified by USDA for organic production
Handbook of pesticide toxicology third edition published
“Third edition, 2010: Haye’s Handbook of pesticide toxicology
The Handbook of Pesticide Toxicology is a comprehensive, two-volume reference guide to the properties, effects, and regulation of pesticides that provides the latest and most complete information to researchers investigating the environmental, agricultural, veterinary, and human-health impacts of pesticide use. Written by international experts from academia, government, and the private sector, the Handbook of Pesticide Toxicology is an in-depth examination of critical issues related to the need for, use of, and nature of chemicals used in modern pest management.”
Symposium: Assessing Exposure of Pollinators to Systemic Pesticides
First AGRO Division symposium on pesticides and pollinators.
Source: Meeting program
Syngenta launches “Operation Pollinator”
Operation Pollinator is a program to provide essential habitat and food sources for pollinating insects across Europe. It is based on eight years of research and the success of Operation Bumblebee in the United Kingdom. It is a 5-year EUR 1 million program, launched by Syngenta in July 2009. The project aims to boost the numbers of pollinating insects in order to protect biodiversity and improve crop yields and crop quality.
EPA Issues EDSP Tier 1 Screening Test Orders
Federal Register Notice announces EPA test orders to conduct Tier 1 screening for the first group of 67 chemicals in the Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program (EDSP).
Chlorantroniliprole first joint registration
DuPont completes first joint pesticide submission across Canada, US, Australia and Ireland.
CRISPR® Technology Elucidated
CRISPR (/ˈkrɪspər/) (which is an acronym for clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats) is a family of DNA sequences found in the genomes of prokaryotic organisms such as bacteria and archaea. These sequences are derived from DNA fragments of bacteriophages that had previously infected the prokaryote. They are used to detect and destroy DNA from similar bacteriophages during subsequent infections. Hence these sequences play a key role in the antiviral (i.e. anti-phage) defense system of prokaryotes and provide a form of acquired immunity. CRISPR are found in approximately 50% of sequenced bacterial genomes and nearly 90% of sequenced archaea.
Syngenta and the Royal Society of Chemistry create the Pan Africa Chemistry Network
PAN Africa Chemistry Network’s purpose is to connect African chemists more effectively and to enable them to achieve greater levels of innovation and scientific development to help promote the economic and social development of the continent.
NRC publishes Toxicity Testing in the 21st Century: A Vision and Strategy
EPA requested the National Research Council (NRC) to review and propose a long-range vision/strategy for toxicity testing based on emerging methods and technologies. The NRC of the National Academy of Sciences published a bold, new vision of toxicology in the 21st century.
Farmland in the USA is consolidated into larger farms
The midpoint acreage for U.S. cropland was >1100 acres in 2007 (up from <600 acres in 1982).
Common Rule applied to pesticide studies
New requirements for studies involving the use of human subjects.
Source: 71 FR 6138
EPA Published the final approach for Initial Screening for EDSP
Federal Register Notice describes EPA’s chemical selection approach for selecting 50 to 100 chemicals for initial endocrine disruptor screening under the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.
Pesticide Improvement Renewal Act (PRIA 1)
The act established pesticide registration service fees for registration actions.
UHPLC and Core-shell columns arrive to improve HPLC
Chromatographic resolution gains have been made with smaller columns as well as reducing solvent volumes and run times. UHPLC columns (with sub 2 µm particles) are adopted when commercial equipment becomes available to support the higher pressures. By 2007, core–shell silica particles (a combination of solid core and porous shell) have been increasingly used. Core–shell technology reportedly provides the same separation efficiency as the sub 2 µm particles columns while eliminating the disadvantages of high back pressure. HPLC columns packed with either sub 2 µm particles or core–shell particles have been employed in a wide range of applications.
Asian Soybean Rust first reported in the Continental US
Soybean rust is caused by two types of fungi, Phakopsora pachyrhizi and Phakopsora meibomiae. It affects several important commercial plants, however, most notable for soybeans, affecting yields up to 80%. P. pachyrhizi is thought to have been carried by wind to the U.S. from South America during the 2004 hurricane season.
Human genome sequenced
The Human Genome Project (HGP) was one of the great feats of exploration in history. Rather than an outward exploration of the planet or the cosmos, the HGP was an inward voyage of discovery led by an international team of researchers looking to sequence and map all of the genes — together known as the genome — of members of our species, Homo sapiens. Beginning on October 1, 1990 and completed in April 2003, the HGP gave us the ability, for the first time, to read nature’s complete genetic blueprint for building a human being.
First hybrid barley variety
Syngenta introduces the world’s first hybrid barley variety in the United Kingdom. The variety is named Colossus and is conventionally bred.
EPA published framework for Cumulative Risk Assessment
FQPA of 1996, directed EPA to move beyond single chemical assessments and to conduct cumulative assessments of chemical exposures occurring simultaneously. As of 2020, EPA has assessment and updated cumulative risk assessments for five groups of pesticides share a common mechanism of toxicity: organophosphates, n-methyl carbamates, Triazines, chloroacetanilides, Pyrethrins/Pyrethroids. EPA has examined and determines thiocarbamates and dithiocarbamates do not share a common mechanism of toxicity.
Approval of spinosad by the USDA National Organic Program for use in organic agriculture
After being registered by US EPA in 1997 for insecticidal use, spinosad was approved by the USDA National Organic Program in 1992 for use in certified organic agriculture. This paved the way for spinosad to become one of the most widely used insecticides by organic farmers and home gardeners.
Mary Dell Chilton receives the Franklin Institute Award
The award is in recognition of her pioneering work in the area of gene transfer into plants.
American Crop Protection Association (ACPA) changes name to CropLife America (CLA)
Prior names were NACA (National Agricultural Chemicals Association) and AIFA (Agricultural Insecticide and Fungicide Association) first formed in 1933. Through four name changes, the association has never varied from its mission of advocacy of and for the crop protection industry.
USDA National Organic Program
The National Organic Program is the federal regulatory framework in the United States of America governing organic food. It is also the name of the United States Department of Agriculture Agricultural Marketing Service program responsible for administering and enforcing the regulatory framework. The core mission of the NOP is to protect the integrity of the USDA organic seal. The seal is used for products adhering to USDA standards that contain at least 95% organic ingredients.
The QuEChERS-method (Quick, Easy, Cheap, Effective, Rugged and Safe ) was developed to streamline extraction and detection processes for multi-residues of pesticides and veterinary drugs in complex matrices. Work was performed by numerous collaborators but M. Anastassiades developed the basis in 2001 and 2002 during his post-doc visit at the USDA/ARS-ERRC in the research group of Steven Lehotay.
The new method for the analysis of pesticide residues in plant material was first presented at the EPRW 2002 in Rome. The detailed method was first published in 2003 (M. Anastassiades, S. J. Lehotay, D. Stajnbaher, F.J. Schenck, JAOAC Int 86(2) 412-31.
AGRO Division has sponsored 59 books
Majority are ACS Symposium Series.
Drosophila melanogaster genome sequence
The Drosophila melanogaster genome sequencing project was essentially completed in March of 2000. Sequencing was begun using mapped large-insert clones, but completed using a whole genome shotgun (WGS) approach; it represents the first demonstration of the WGS approach to sequencing in a multicellular organism.
First plant genome sequenced
After four years of collaboration, an international team of researchers has completed the first genome sequence of a plant, Arabidopsis thaliana.
AGRO Division membership is ~1600
Membership reflects consolidation and overall employment trends in sector.
Source, and posted Picogram with review statistics
Former Fertilizer Division dissolved; members welcomed into AGRO
Official residue analysis methodology SANCO Guidelines Published (EU)
Guidelines support the generation of Annex II and III crop protection product residue data for pre and post registration purposes under EU Directives 91/414 EEC updated 2011.
Syngenta AG formed as Merger of Novartis Agribusiness and Zeneca AgroChemicals
Syngenta AG is a global company that produces agrochemicals and seeds and is based in Basel, Switzerland.
Revised By-laws set framework for AGRO Officers
The by-laws established divisional officers of chair, chair elect, vice chair, secretary, treasurer and rotation of vice chair to chair elect serving as program chair to chair. This model remains in use today.
Source: AGRO History Document 1976-2001;
Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry published by Don Crosby
“This textbook is the first text to tie environmental toxicology and environmental chemistry closely together, demonstrating the immediate relevance of each subject to the other while also providing basic, easily understandable introductions to both areas. This unique work presents their principles and applications through numerous illustrative examples and special topics that highlight current environmental concerns. It provides up-to-date as well as historical examples of both subjects and includes discussions of ecotoxicology, epidemiology, predictive methods, and other topics not covered in similar texts. It also includes invertebrates and nonmammal vertebrates, plants, and microorganisms, as well as humans and other mammals.”
First Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award for a pesticide
This first Green Chemistry award was presented by EPA to Rohm and Hass to recognize the invention and commercialization of a new chemical class insecticides, the Molt Accelerating Compounds (MAC), as exemplified by Confirm™ (tebufenozide), and the related selective insect control agents halofenozide and methoxyfenozide.
EPA publishes Endocrine Disruptor Screen Program Description
EPA outlined the Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program (EDSP), which is one outcome of the FQPA Act of 1996 requiring development of a program to determine if the effect that certain substances have in humans is similar to the effect produced by a naturally occurring hormone.
Golden Pacific Laboratories Founded
Golden Pacific Laboratories was founded in Fresno, California in 1997 and has been serving the Agrochemical Industry ever since.
USEPA Testing Guidelines (OPPT)
EPA issues test guidelines for: Testing pesticides and toxic substances, and; Developing test data for submission to the Agency for review under the: Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA); Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA); and; Section 408 of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA). Initial guidelines were issued in 1996 under the Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics (OPPT) . Harmonized guidelines are issued in under the renamed Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention (OCSPP).
Genetic engineered crops introduced commercially
Genetic engineering is a key component of modern agricultural biotechnology. Although the first genetic engineered (GE) plant was the tomato in 1982, commercial use of genetically engineered major crops occurred in 1996. The first traits incorporated were herbicide tolerance (HT), resistance to insects and resistance to environmental stresses like drought. The majority of acreage planted with GE crops are either HT or insect resistant. Other features being incorporated into GE crops are nutrient enhancements for seed or feed and incorporation of traits beyond the usual food and fiber such as production of pharmaceuticals.
Endocrine disruptors controversy erupts
The book, Our Stolen Future: Are We Threatening Our Fertility, Intelligence, and Survival? A Scientific Detective Story published by Theo Colborn chronicles the development of the endocrine disruptor hypothesis by Colborn AND importantly ultimately influenced government policy through congressional hearings and helped foster the development of a research and regulation initiative within the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Biotech comes into its own
Monsanto introduced glyphosate-resistant soybean and later (1998) introduced glyphosate-resistant corn.
Official residue analysis methodology guidelines published (EPA)
Harmonized guidelines were published by EPA supporting methods of residue analysis for crop protection products reducing variation among the testing procedures.
Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA) passed by Congress
FQPA resulted in a revised Paradigm for Risk Assessment in how EPA evaluates pesticides for human safety, including introducing the concepts of aggregate exposure from multiple routes, cumulative risk from pesticides with common mechanism of toxicity, and additional safety factors for assessment of children. It passed unanimously by Congress.
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Sandoz and Ciba-Geigy merge forming Novartis
Novartis forms and was one of the largest mergers in history at the time.
AGRO holds Pesticide Resistance program
A special topic AGRO symposium entitled “Molecular Genetics and Evolution of Pesticide Resistance”
was held in Big Sky, MT.
Source: AGRO History Document 1976-2001;
PPDC Pesticide Program Dialogue Committee first established
PPDC a representative federal advisory committee, meets with EPA on a regular basis to discuss pesticide regulatory, policy, and program implementation issues; It is a forum for a diverse group of stakeholder appointees to provide feedback.
PMRA formed as part of Health Canada
Regulation of pesticides consolidated in one agency in Canada.
Source: Pest Control Products Act P-9
First Dirty Dozen List from Environmental Working Group (EWG)
EWG lists conventional grown produce with highest pesticide residues based on US government food monitoring results from USDA PDP and FDA data to inform consumers on pesticide exposure in US food supply. USDA’s statements do not support EWG’s interpretation to avoid certain foods. USDA’s 2015 FactSheet states: “Based on the PDP data, consumers can feel confident about eating a diet that is rich in fresh fruits and vegetables.”.
Hexaflumuron registered by US EPA as the first “reduced risk” pesticide.
EPA’s “reduced risk pesticide” initiative accelerated approval for products with favorable safety and environmental profiles. Hexaflumuron has low mammalian toxicity and, delivered in a termite bait station (Sentricon™ System), controls termite colonies around the home with a few grams of AI instead of 40+ kg of traditional insecticide soil drenches.
AGRO Educational Endowment Fund
Surplus funds from IUPAC served as the basis of the AGRO Educational Endowment Fund.
Division partners with IUPAC 8th International Congress of Pesticide Chemistry
This 8th IUPAC Congress, held in Washington, DC, was organized in close collaboration with AGRO and ACS. The Congress was a great success, and a surplus of funds resulted from a large attendance and a well-run meeting.
AGRO Division membership is ~2000
Publication of the book Pesticides in the Diets of Infants and Children
This noteworthy book highlighted the potential for greater exposures and potential effects of pesticides on children, and the widespread attention it attracted led to passage several years later of the Food Quality Protection Act.
AGRO holds Natural Products Program
A special topic AGRO symposium entitled “Natural and Derived Pest Management Agents” was held in Snowbird, UT.
Source: AGRO History Document 1976-2001;
EPA removes mesocosm as a requirement
Contract research industry struggles to repurpose mecocosm sites.
Source: Member Expertise
61,000 US birds certified by USDA as organic poultry
935,450 Acres US farmland certified by USDA for organic production
California Environmental Protection Agency Established (CalEPA)
The California Environmental Protection Agency, or CalEPA, is a state cabinet-level agency within the government of California. The mission of CalEPA is to restore, protect and enhance the environment, to ensure public health, environmental quality and economic vitality.
California EPA Formed
This brought the Air Resources Board (ARB), State Water Resources Control Board, and Integrated Waste Management Board (IWMB) under an umbrella agency with the newly created Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) and the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA). As part of this reorganization, the pesticide regulation program was given departmental status as the Department of Pesticide Regulation within CalEPA. Pesticide-related statutory responsibilities and authorities were transferred to DPR.
Pioneer Seeds Number 1 Brand in Soybeans
Organic Food Production Act (OFPA)
The Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 (OFPA) (Title 21 of Food, Agriculture, Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990, codified at 7 U.S.C. ch. 94, 7 U.S.C. § 6501 et seq.) authorizes a National Organic Program (NOP) to be administered by USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS). The Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 authorizes a National Organic Program to be administered by USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service. The program is based on federal regulations that define standard organic farming practices and on a National List of acceptable organic production inputs. Private and state certifiers visit producers, processors, and handlers to certify’ that their operations abide by the standards. Once certified, these operations may affix a label on their product stating that it “Meets USDA Organic Requirements.”
US Pollution Prevention Act (PPA)
The Pollution Prevention Act focused industry, government, and public attention on reducing the amount of pollution through cost-effective changes in production, operation, and raw materials use. Opportunities for source reduction are often not realized because of existing regulations, and the industrial resources required for compliance, focus on treatment and disposal.
Executive Committee expanded to 15 elected members
Elected Executive Committee is expanded from 12 to 15 members; this practice is retained today.
In 1984 the Division Executive Committee was increased from 8 to 12 members.
Organic Foods Production Act
Established the National Organic Program (NOP), the Secretary of Agriculture oversees the program for certification of organic production.
Neonicotinoid insecticides are introduced
The neonics are a class of neuro-active insecticides chemically similar to nicotine. Shell (in the 1980s) and Bayer (in the 1990s) started work on their development. The neonicotinoid family includes acetamiprid, clothianidin, imidacloprid, nitenpyram, nithiazine, thiacloprid and thiamethoxam. Imidacloprid was the most widely used insecticide in the world at one point.
Program 60 Minutes broadcasts story about ALAR and apples based on NRDC cancer analysis
Apple growers suffer loss of sales as millions of consumers stopped buying apples and apple products. The sudden action was prompted by fears that Alar (a chemical widely used by apple growers to prevent pre-harvest fruit drop, promote color development, and increase storage life) causes cancer.
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AGRO Sunday Night Governance Meeting established
Prior to this separate program, executive and general business meetings were separate. This efficient practice is retained today.
Publication of the first Exposure Factors Handbook
Codification of inputs for risk assessments, includes detailed statistics on dermal exposure factors, soil/dust ingestion; water consumption human inhalation rates, body weights, food consumption data by several categories.
Assure quality of non-clinical studies.
- Re-registration by 1997 of all compounds registered prior to 1984
- Manufacturers must fill “data gaps” resulting from newer regulations
- Many active products/active ingredient registrations canceled, either by EPA or voluntarily by manufacturer
- Negative impact on crop protection, esp. for minor crops
EPA requires mesocosm studies
Pesticide registrants and their contracting partners invest heavily in building facilities and conducting multimillion-dollar studies.
Source: Member expertise
FIFRA Act Amendments signed by Reagan
Approved by Congress, Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act Amendments of 1988 require review and registration of both new and older pesticides. FIFRA was first enacted in 1947.
First AGRO ACS book entitled Biotechnology in Agricultural Chemistry
AGRO begins long sucessful Division collaboraion for publication of ACS Symposium Series books on key topics covering core and emerging topics in agrochemistry. By 2021, AGRO division will have credits for over 100 topical books covering sustainability, risk assessment, modes of action, environmental impacts and models, emerging analytical methodologies, pesticide use in urban settings, natural products, targets for pest control, Discovery and Synthesis, biopesticides, pesticide regulation, etc. etc. etc.
Analytical Gas Chromatography is published Author: Walter Jennings
Excellent comprehensive book on Gas Chromatography from basic principles to applications; Covers of the variables in the chromatographic process, the interaction between those variables, how they are best controlled, how the quality of their analytical results could be improved, and how analysis times can be shortened to facilitate the generation of a greater number of more reliable results on the same equipment. An analyst with a more comprehensive understanding of chromatographic principles and practice, however, can often improve the quality of the data generated, reduce the analytical time, and forestall the need to purchase an additional chromatograph or another mass spectrometer.
Coordinated Framework for Regulation of Biotechnology established as formal policy
Describes the Federal system for evaluating products developed using modern biotechnology.
First AGRO Poster Session
The first AGRO poster session was in Spring 1986.
High-pressure liquid chromatography becomes workhorse in analytical labs
HPLC becomes a standard technique for detection of residues as well as characterization of actives with ever improving column separation and detectors from UV and fluorescence, electrochemical to mass spectrometers in 1990s.
Source: Member Expertise
Young Scientist Award announced
The divisional award applies to predoctoral student or graduates of less than one year.
AGRO History Document 1976-2001;
Name changes to Division of Agrochemicals
Broader name covers chemical and new approaches to pest control plus biotechnology.
Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) authorized in Farm Bill
The CRP removes environmentally sensitive land from agricultural production and provides to farmers rental payment for that land.
Executive Committee expanded from 8 to 12 elected members
Pest Resistance to Pesticides is published (George Georghiou is editor)
Seminal book in the field of pesticide resistance. The development of resistance to pesticides is generally acknowledged as one of the most serious obstacles to effective pest control today. Since house flies first developed resistance to DDT in 1946, more than 428 species of arthropods, at least 91 species of plant pathogens, five species of noxious weeds and two species of nematodes were reported to have developed strains resistant to on~ or more pesticides. A seminar of U. S. and Japanese scientists was held in Palm Springs, California, during December 3-7, 1979, under the U. S. -Japan Cooperative Science Program, in order to evaluate the status of research on resistance and to discuss directions for future emphasis. A total of 32 papers were presented under three principal topics: Origins and Dynamics of Resistance (6), Mechanisms of Resistance (18), and Suppression and Management of Resistance (8). The seminar was unique in that it brought together for the first time researchers from the disciplines of entomology, plant pathology and weed science for a comprehensive discussion of this common problem.
LIMS (Laboratory Information Management Systems)
Databases were developed to store and search acquired data from analytical runs. Sophistication and capabilities expanded as the computers developed. In 1982 the first generation of LIMS was introduced in the form of a single centralized minicomputer, which offered the first opportunity to automate reporting tools. Relational data-bases, client/server architecture with improved data processing, remote access, wireless networking capabilities, georefer-encing of samples, adoption of XML standards and automated reporting were advancements over the years.
Division is active in the publication ofACS books
AGRO publishes both ACS Symposium Series and reference books; AGRO receives royalties as a resource to fund future symposium. From 1983 to 1985, 15 books were published. Many more follow in later years.
Introduction of immunoassays for pesticide analysis
Enzyme immunoassays enable field portability and testing at the site of contamination
OECD Testing Guidelines
OECD Guidelines for the Testing of Chemicals are a set of internationally accepted specifications for the testing of chemicals decided on by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. They were first published in 1981.
Launch of the sulfonylurea (SU) class of low application rate herbicides
Commercialization of the first SU, chlorsulfuron in cereals, signaled start of a trend toward highly active, ultra-low application rate herbicides (as low as 2 g AI/ha). Additional SU herbicides were subsequently introduced for most major crops, and further classes of herbicides with reduced environmental loadings have followed.
Ivermectin – broad spectrum anti-parasitic agent first approved for use
Ivermectin is part of the broader class of avermectins that are veterinary and human antiparasitic agents. Avermectins were first shown to have activity in a mouse bioassay. The structures and activities as well as improved fermentation yields enabled commercialization of ivermectin as a veterinary drug with the first product approval in 1981. Activity against Onchocerciasis (river blindness) was demon-strated in the mid-1980s and Merck partner-ed with WHO and other organizations to donate billions of doses of ivermectin to afflicted countries from 1987 to present for onchocerciasis as well as lymphatic filariasis.
First Sterling Hendricks Awardee: Norman E. Borlaug
USDA Sterling Hendricks Memorial Lectureship 1981 – Norman E. Borlaug, Nobel Laureate.
This Memorial Lectureship remains established as a cosponsored award between AGRO and AGFD (Ag and Food Chemistry) Divisions.
First female chair for our Division
The year 1981, saw increased diversity with the first female Division Chair (with Marguerite Leng of Dow) – there have been 10 more in the four decades that followed.
Drs. Hammock and R.O. Mumma outlined the future of immunoassays
When Dr. Hammock was elected to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences in 1999, he was cited for his pioneering work in using immunochemistry to analyze and monitor human exposure to environmental chemicals
Source: Hammock, B.D. and R.O. Mumma. 1980. Potential of immunochemical technology for pesticide analysis. In: Pesticide Analytical Methodology, (Harvey, J., Jr. and G. Zweig, eds.), pp. 321-352, ACS Symposium Series, ACS Publications, Washington, D. C.
Our Division holds Special Spring Conference
The 1980 Division Conference was in lieu of the ACS National Meeting. It was entitled “The Pesticide Chemist and Modern Toxicology” in Downingtown, PA.
Soil fumigants identified as potential ground water contamination
Ciba-Geigy introduces Ridomil, trade name for metalaxyl which is an acylalanine fungicide.
Good Laboratory Practice Regulations – USFDA
Toxicology labs are first affected.
Ridomil, a systemic fungicide introduced
Ciba-Geigy introduces Ridomil, trade name for metalaxyl which is an acylalanine fungicide.
HPLC-Triple quadrupole Mass Spectrometry initial developments
The technique provides sensitivity and selectivity to assay a wide variety of samples for non-volatile organic compounds including large biomolecules. Tandem quadrupole LC-MS/MS quantifies more pesticides and tests for more drugs-of-abuse than perhaps any other analytical technique. Mass spectrometry was commercialized by Finnigan in the late 1960s and some of the LC-MS/MS techniques were developed by Yost and Enke in 1978. Interfacing the LC to the MS provided the most challenges and went through a series of interactions from direct injection and moving belt interfaces to the techniques of atmospheric pressure chemical ionization and electrospray ionization.
US Saccharin Ban
The Food and Drug Administration announced today that it would ban the use of saccharin in foods and beverages, because the artificial sweetener had been found to cause malignant bladder tumors in laboratory animals. This ruling led to a significant shift in policy as well as outrage from the general public.
Herbicidal activity discovered in callistemon plants
The allelopathic compound was identified as leptospermone by Stauffer scientists. The discovery lead to family of herbicide products based on the naturally occurring compound produced by the bottlebrush plant (Callistemon citrinus). Mesotrione was chosen for initial development due to its selectivity for broadleaf weeds that compete with maize.
Soil and Water Resources Conservation Act enacted
Required USDA to assess and report to Congress the condition of US soil and water resources and to develop a national conservation program.
Insecticide Biochemistry and Physiology by Chris Wilkinson is published
A seminal book in the field of insecticide toxicology. Covers Penetration and Distribution of Insecticides, Microsomal Oxidation and Insecticide Metabolism, Cytochrome P450, Extramicrosomal Metabolism of Insecticides, Enzymatic Conjugation and Insecticide Metabolism
Our Division membership is ~ 1000
Our Division focuses efforts for ACS National Meetings
Governing Structure & Bylaws strengthened
Elected Officers included Chair, Chair-elect, Secretary and Treasurer.
AGRO History Document 1976-2001;
American Chemical Society (ACS) celebrates 100-year anniversary
ACS celebrates its centennial year in 1976. On April 6, 1876, thirty-five chemists met at the College of Pharmacy of the City of New York to found the American Chemical Society. ACS began publishing its flagship journal, the Journal of the American Chemical Society (JACS), in April, 1879. On August 25, 1937, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Public Act No. 358, incorporating the society under federal charter.
Toxicology of Insecticides is published by Fumio Matsumura
Seminal book in the field of insect toxicology, based on teaching notes from his course on the toxicology of insecticides to provide comprehensive and up-to-date text; covering Principles of Insecticide Toxicology, Classification of Insecticides, Modes of Action of Insecticides and Metabolism of Insecticides by Animals and Plants.
Gas Chromatography becomes workhorse in analytical labs
GC becomes a standard technique for detection of residues as well as characterization of actives with ever improving detectors of electron capture, flame ionization and nitrogen/phosphorus detection (1970s) to mass spectrometers (1980s).
First sulfonyl urea discovered by George Levitt of DuPont
A broad class of herbicides invented which dramatically reduced the amounts of pesticides applied.
Monsanto introduced Roundup, a broad-spectrum herbicide that dramatically changed farming practices.
Ciba and Geigy merge to form Ciba-Geigy.
A History of the International Chemical Industry, by Fred Aftalion
About 60% of US farms use herbicides in field crops; about 40% use insecticides
About 70% of US farms used commercial fertilizer on crops, about 29M tons in total
The use of commercial fertilizer increased rapidly after WWII and the commercialization of the Haber-Bosch Process for producing nitrogen fertilizer.
Endangered Species Act (ESA) passed by Congress
ESA is landmark legislation providing strong protection for the conservation of threatened and endangered plants and animals and the habitats in which they are found. Its strict provisions for protection of individual organisms from harm have proven challenging
for EPA’s ecological risk assessment
Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) Banned in USA
Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) is an insecticide used in agriculture. The United States banned the use of DDT in 1972, but some countries still use the chemical. DDT has also been used in the past for the treatment of lice. It is still in use outside the United States for the control of mosquitoes that spread malaria. DDT and its related chemicals persist for a long time in the environment and in animal tissues.
Federal Environmental Pesticide Control Act signed into law
“All products must be registered with EPA
EPA sets tolerances
Stringent labeling of uses; use inconsistent with label prohibited (Establish heavy fines and prison sentences for violators)
States may still label pesticides for limited local needs
Establishes general use and restricted used classifications
Mandates states to have certification program
Pesticide manufacturing plants must be inspected by EPA
For a new product to be registered it must not cause “”unreasonable adverse effects”” to humans or the environment
EPA must weigh benefits vs. risks in making a regulatory decision
EPA has a HUGE backlog of pesticides to evaluate, plus anything new. Therefore, they triage pre‑1972 pesticides into A, B, and C categories”
First Picogram Newsletter
Clean Water Act Enacted
The Clean Water Act of 1972 authorized USEPA to develop national water quality criteria.
Solid-phase extraction (SPE) is the most widely used sample preparation technique for assays of aqueous samples and organic extracts in laboratories. SPE provides fast cleanup, reduction in solvent usage and improved selectivity. SPE methods, using bonded silicas or other solid phases, is an alternative to liquid partitioning, and is amenable to automation.
HERBICIDES | Solid-Phase Extraction also : Chemical Analysis of Food: Techniques and Applications, 2012.
Full Division Status for Division of Pesticides
Our Division is fully established. AGRO celebrates our 50th year anniversary in 2020 based on this milestone.
Formation of the EPA
EPA’s mission is to protect human health by safeguarding the air we breathe, water we drink and land on which we live. US EPA was formed
to administer environmental quality regulations and assumed responsibilities from USDA related to pesticide registration under FIFRA. Regulation of pesticides consolidated in one agency in the US.
Benzimidazoles were a new class and mode of action with broader spectrum of fungicidal activity. DuPont launched Benomyl as a systemic fungicide.
Division of Pesticide Chemistry Forming
Division receives probationary status; Don G Crosby was the first Division Chair.
AGRO History Document 1976-2001;
First International Award for our Division: John Casida
The ACS International Award for Research in Agrochemicals was awarded to John E. Casida, Univ California Berkely.
Picogram Vol 94
Environmental Defense Fund
Environmental Defense Fund or EDF is a United States-based nonprofit environmental group known for its work on issues including global warming, ecosystem restoration, oceans, and human health.
Rachel Carson Publishes Landmark Book Silent Spring
A marine biologist from Springdale, Pennsylvania, Rachael Caron, wrote a book Silent Spring that described the severe adverse effects that can be caused by the improper and excessive use of pesticides. The book raised awareness of environmental concerns and led to multiple congressional hearings and presidential commissions that made recommendations on new laws and policies.
Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC)
The Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC)is an international food standards body established jointly by the Food and Agriculture organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO)in May 1963 with the objective of protecting consumer’s health and ensuring fair practices in food trade.
Bt was approved for insecticidal use by US government (predecessor agency to the EPA).
JAFC is established by ACS
Diquat and Paraquat herbicidal properties recognized
Successful herbicides lead to the development of no-till farming
Patents for structures and activity were issued for several groups including Ciba, Shell and FMC all within a year.
Triazine herbicides discovered
Triazines revolutionized agriculture in the development of new farming methods, providing greater farming and land use capabilities, and increasing crop yields.
Nucleus of Division formed as subdivision within AGFD
Close ties with the Division of Agricultural and Food Chemistry (AGFD) remain today
First synthetic pyrethroid was patented by USDA and subsequently licensed to multiple companies including Sumitomo Chemical.
J Pestic Sci 2019 Jul 25; 44(4): 215-224. doi 10.1584/jpestics.D19-102
Organisation for European Economic Cooperation (OECD)
The Organisation for European Economic Co-operation (OEEC) was formed in 1948 to administer American and Canadian aid in the framework of the Marshall Plan for the reconstruction of Europe after World War II. Similar reconstruction aid was sent to the war-torn Republic of China and post-war Korea, but not under the name “Marshall Plan”.
Nobel Prize in Medicine/Physiology to Paul Müller (Geigy) for DDT
DDT represented a major break-through for control of insect vectors. Nobel awarded to Müller for identifying DDT as a contact poison for arthropods.
US Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA)
The Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act is a United States federal law that set up the basic U.S. system of pesticide regulation to protect applicators, consumers, and the environment. It is administered and regulated by the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the appropriate environmental agencies of the respective states. FIFRA has undergone several important amendments since its inception.
United Nations Founded and Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO)
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations is a specialized agency of the United Nations that leads international efforts to defeat hunger and improve nutrition and food security. Its Latin motto, fiat panis, translates to “let there be bread”.
Thiram commercialized as first synthetic organic fungicide.
US Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act
The United States Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act is a set of laws giving authority to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to oversee the safety of food, drugs, medical devices, and cosmetics. In 1968, the Electronic Product Radiation Control provisions were added to the FD&C. Also in that year the FDA formed the Drug Efficacy Study Implementation to incorporate into FD&C regulations the recommendations from a National Academy of Sciences investigation of effectiveness of previously marketed drugs. The act has been amended many times, most recently to add requirements about bioterrorism preparations.
Geigy production of synthetic insecticides
After WW 1, Geigy conducted research to find moth poisons to protect wool. Then they expanded their research to find chemicals to use as seed disinfectants which lead to defining the research objective of synthesizing an insecticide.
Insects, Experts, and the Insecticide Crisis: The Quest for New Pest Management Strategies, John H. Perkins at https://www.springer.com/gp/book/9781468440003
Plant Patent Act enacted
Made it possible to patent new varieties of plants.
Source: 35 USC Ch. 15
BASF builds first Ag R&D facility
BASF built its Agricultural Research Station (research and farm buildings on 225 ha) in Limburgerhof, located only about 10 km from Ludwigshafen (it’s first ammonia plant). Five employees started working there in the spring of 1914. They initiated the first trials with various plants, testing ammonium sulfate and sodium nitrate that was produced in-house. They wanted to find out whether these fertilizers were as effective as standard nitrogen fertilizers, such as manure or coking ammonia, from coal production. Agriculture R&D is still conducted in Limbergerhof today.
Federal Meat Inspection Act and the Pure Food and Drugs Act
Establishment of the FDA in the USA.
Foundation of FDA
This law was the culmination of about 100 bills over a quarter-century that aimed to rein in long-standing, serious abuses in the consumer product marketplace.
Sierra Club Founded
Founded in San Francisco, CA by John Muir as a group interested in exploring and sponsoring outings in the mountains of the Pacific coast. Muir was known as the Father of the National Parks and a co-founder of the National Audubon Society. Many current regulations and enforcements are under the National Parks Service.
Ciba started as a silk-dyeing business in Basel, Switzerland
Ciba would join with Geigy and become Ciba-Geigy.
Pasteur demonstration of anthrax vaccine
Development of the vaccine represents public health and economic importance for minimizing diseases.
Sandoz founded in Basel, Switzerland
Starting as a small chemical company and moving to pharmaceutical research that would later merge with Ciba-Geigy to become Novartis.
Morrill Acts – Land Grant Universities
The Morrill Acts established the Land Grant Universities and allowed for research and education for the agricultural community. These Land Grant Universities continue to play a critical role in our society.
US Department of Agriculture
First established a Federal Department to oversee agricultural crops (including fertilizers and materials used on crops.
Foundation of USDA
On May 15, 1862, President Lincoln signed legislation to establish the USDA and two and a half years later in his final message to Congress, Lincoln called USDA “The People’s Department.” Through our work on food, agriculture, economic development, science, natural resource conservation and other issues, USDA has impacted the lives of generations of Americans.
US Patent Office Agricultural Division
First directed effort to collect and preserve agricultural species and develop better horticultural practices.
First veterinary school in world – Lyon France
Veterinary training becomes science instead of art. First training focused on horses but then expanded to cattle, both of economic importance to society.
Johann Rudolf Geigy set up a chemist shop in Basel, Switzerland
Geigy would eventually lead to the present-day Syngenta.
First Chemical Weed Killer
Beginnings of a systemic approach to weed control