Breaking the cycle: Reforming pesticide regulation to protect pollinators

Adrian Fisher, Rafaela Tadei, May Berenbaum, James Nieh, Harry Siviter, James Crall, Jordan R Glass, Felicity Muth, Ling-Hsiu Liao, Kirsten Traynor, Nicole Desjardins, Roberta Nocelli, Noa Simon-Delso, Jon F Harrison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Over decades, pesticide regulations have cycled between approval and implementation, followed by the discovery of negative effects on nontarget organisms that result in new regulations, pesticides, and harmful effects. This relentless pattern undermines the capacity to protect the environment from pesticide hazards and frustrates end users that need pest management tools. Wild pollinating insects are in decline, and managed pollinators such as honey bees are experiencing excessive losses, which threatens sustainable food security and ecosystem function. An increasing number of studies demonstrate the negative effects of field-realistic exposure to pesticides on pollinator health and fitness, which contribute to pollinator declines. Current pesticide approval processes, although they are superior to past practices, clearly continue to fail to protect pollinator health. In the present article, we provide a conceptual framework to reform cyclical pesticide approval processes and better protect pollinators.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberbiad088
Pages (from-to)808-813
Number of pages6
Issue number11
Early online dateOct 23 2023
StatePublished - Nov 1 2023


  • pesticides
  • policy
  • pollinators
  • regulation
  • sustainability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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