On 21 March 2016, the IUPAC Division on Chemistry and the Environment announced that the 2016 “IUPAC International Award for Advances in Harmonized Approaches to Crop Protection Chemistry” will be presented to Dr. Daniel L. Kunkel of the IR-4 Project based at Rutgers University, New Jersey, USA.
The award recognizes individuals in government, intergovernmental organizations, industry, and academia who have exercised personal leadership for outstanding contributions to international harmonization for the regulation of crop protection chemistry. Awardees receive a USD 3000 honorarium plus travel and per diem reimbursement to attend the award presentation ceremony. Corporate sponsorship for the award is provided by Dow AgroSciences. The 2016 award will be presented to Dr. Kunkel during a symposium to be organized by the Agrochemicals Division as part of the American Chemical Society’s national meeting in Philadelphia, USA, during 21 to 25 August.
Kunkel has been active for the past 25 years in advancing innovative research and harmonized approaches for regulation of crop protection chemicals and establishment of food residue standards supporting minor uses and specialty crops. He currently serves as Associate Director of IR-4’s Food and International Programs, where he has been on staff since 1991. The IR-4 Project is a publicly funded (USDA) research program that provides safe and effective pest management tools to growers of specialty crops through the generation of high quality data for regulatory approvals. For many years, Dr. Kunkel and the IR-4 Project have led efforts to develop field residue trial data to achieve registration approvals and support harmonized maximum residue limits (MRLs) for specialty crops as established by U.S. EPA and other national regulatory authorities to support trade. In the process, he has promoted adoption of cross-regional data sharing, streamlined assessment approaches, and worked tirelessly to resolve scientific issues. One of the hallmarks of Kunkel’s efforts has been the highly collaborative nature of his work. As noted by one of his nominators: “Dan has played a pivotal role in coordinating efforts of the grower community, government regulators, crop protection industry, academic researchers and institutions, and policymakers worldwide in garnering, maintaining and improving support for crop protection uses for specialty products.”
Dr. Kunkel’s early international efforts were focused on harmonization projects involving Canada, Mexico, and the U.S. as a lead scientist with the NAFTA Technical Working Group. He also has been active in promoting the development of harmonized approaches for minor use registrations through IR-4’s cooperative agreements with Canada and other countries including Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, and New Zealand, and in addition has supported development of a minor use program in the EU. Kunkel’s global influence has been applied for the past decade through his active engagement with intergovernmental organizations including OECD and Codex. Through the OECD’s Expert Group on Minor Uses he has contributed to development of a number of critical guidance documents and surveys, and through several working groups operating under the Codex Committee on Pesticide Residues he has advanced the establishment of improved assessment processes that include more minor use Codex MRL standards of global significance.
Leadership of global cooperation efforts through the Global Minor Use Summit (GMUS) has been one of Kunkel’s most significant international contributions. Three of these unique gatherings, involving hundreds of participants from more than 50 countries, have yielded new global consensus and collaborative action plans for advancing harmonization efforts related to minor use registrations and MRLs. As recognized by other award nominators “Dr. Kunkel has been a champion of international harmonization of regulatory standards…” and “Dan personally has been relentless in developing the infrastructure and personal relationships around the globe to facilitate mutual understanding and respect in addressing MRL issues.” For all these reasons IUPAC is pleased to recognize Dr. Daniel L. Kunkel as the 2016 recipient of the IUPAC International Award for Advances in Harmonized Approaches to Crop Protection Chemistry.