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J Agric Food Chem. 2002 Jul 17;50(15):4151-5.

Role of research and regulation in 50 years of pest management in agriculture. Prepared for the 50th anniversary of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

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Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, University of West Florida, 19 West Garden Street, Suite 300, Pensacola, Florida 32501, USA.


Pest management techniques have evolved over the past 50 years. Inorganic chemical pesticides were replaced by synthetic organic chemicals, and now biopesticides constitute a significant part of pest management technology. Requirements for the regulatory approval of pesticides changed dramatically in 1996 with the passage of the Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA). The FQPA directs the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to make more rigorous and conservative evaluation of risks and hazards and mandates a special emphasis on the safety of infants and children. The EPA provides incentives for the industry to register materials that are designated "reduced risk". The future for the registrant industry will include continued reduction in numbers of registrants through mergers and acquisitions. Conventional chemicals will remain as important pest management components, and the processes of combinatorial chemistry and high-throughput bioassays will allow the rapid synthesis and testing of large numbers of candidate compounds. Biopesticides will become more important tools in pest management, with microbial pesticides and transgenic crops being likely to play important crop protection roles. There will be a continuing need for research-based approaches to pest control.

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