Nuclear techniques in food and agriculture
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CTA. 1994. Nuclear techniques in food and agriculture. Spore 51. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/49421
Two UN agencies, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) joined forces in 1964 to establish what is now the Joint FAD/IAEA Division of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture. Its terms of...
Two UN agencies, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) joined forces in 1964 to establish what is now the Joint FAD/IAEA Division of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture. Its terms of reference are to assist Member States to apply isotope and radiation techniques to the improvement of agriculture and food production and preservation. The Joint Division is based in Vienna and is organized into six sections: Soil Fertility, Irrigation and Crop Production; Plant Breeding and Genetics; Animal Production and Health; Insect and Pest Control; Agrochemicals and Residues; and Food Preservation. The Joint Division has three main types of operation. The first is the coordination and support of research. The Joint Division organizes some 35 Coordinated Research Programmes involving about 400 institutions around the world. Each programme is concerned with a specific problem and normally 10-20 research groups participate, drawn from both developed and developing countries. The second activity is providing technical support for Technical Cooperation and Assistance to projects at the request of Member States; and these projects involve provision of equipment, expert advisory missions and training. The third activity is to facilitate information exchange, which is achieved through symposia, seminars, publications and the loins Division's reference library. Current programmes include the development and application of methods to monitor pesticides in food and the environment and to work on pesticide delivery, particularly controlled release formulations. These include the use of carbon and hydrogen radioisotopes to follow the fate of pesticides in food, soil and metabolic processes. Another important programme was to assist with eradicating the New World Screw-worm (Cochliomyia hominivorax) in North Africa. This made use of the Sterile Insect Technique, an area of special expertise, and the deployment of baiting stations designed by the Joint Division. A similar development was to improve insecticide formulations for use on cloth target screens for tsetse fly (Glossina spy) control. Work at the Joint Division's Seibersdorf Laboratory has shown that the addition of UV absorbing compounds to the formulation of the pyrethroid insecticides used substantially reduces their rate of photo-degradation. The Joint Division has produced guidelines to meet the need for advice on the development of emergency response plans relating to food and agriculture in the event of a severe nuclear accident; developed nuclear techniques for monitoring pesticides in marine and terrestrial environments; developed a simple and robust test kit to establish whether cattle have been correctly vaccinated against rinderpest; refined and developed techniques for irradiating plant seeds to stimulate mutational changes for gene manipulation and selection in crop breeding; and developed safe irradiation techniques as an alternative to chemical fumigation for quarantine purposes and preservation of certain fresh produce. The Joint Division produces bulletins, reports and newsletters (e.g. Agrochemicals and residues newletters) and has an extensive reference library. A list of publications can be obtained from the Division. Joint FOD/IAEA Division Wagramerstrasse 5 PO Box 100 A-1400 Vienna AUSTRIA