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Banning Neonicotinoids: Ban First, Ask Questions Later
Evan Jensen†
TABLE OF CONTENTS
I. Introduction ......................................................................................... 47
II. What is Colony Collapse Disorder? ................................................... 48
III. Why Are the Bees Dying? ................................................................ 51
IV. What Are Neonicotinoids? ............................................................... 54
V. How are Pesticides Regulated? .......................................................... 58
VI. What Should the EPA Do? ............................................................... 60
VII. What Constitutes an Unreasonable Risk? ....................................... 63
VIII. What is the Precautionary Principle? ............................................. 65
IX. Should the EPA Ban Neonicotinoids? .............................................. 67
X. Conclusion ......................................................................................... 72
I. INTRODUCTION
Recently, the world's population of bees crashed catastrophically. In
North America, approximately one-third of the continent's bee population
died each year beginning around 2006. In 2012, peer-reviewed studies
concluded that neonicotinoid pesticides are linked to the crash in the bee
population. However, pesticide manufacturers and agribusiness
companies assert there is insufficient evidence to prove that neonicotinoid
pesticides are harmful. To date, the EPA has not suspended or canceled
registrations of any pesticides within the neonicotinoid family.
There is a considerable amount of scientific evidence suggesting that
neonicotinoids may be causing a mass bee die-off in the form of colony
collapse disorder. Because of this evidence, the EPA should temporarily
† J.D. Candidate, Seattle University School of Law, June 2015. Thanks to the SJEL editorial
staff for their suggestions and edits.

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