Analysis of the case studies

To fully understand the complexities and the controversies around the application of the precautionary principle, the RECIPES project conducted nine case studies. The aim was to understand and explain the potential differences in the application depending on the topic and the context. A comparison across the different cases indicates that the application of the precautionary principle had positive effects on innovation and contributed to more responsible pathways.

Case Study 4: Neonicotinoid insecticides

About the case

In Europe, hundreds of different pesticides are allowed in farming to control fungi (fungicides), weeds (herbicides) and plague insects (insecticides) that may harm the crop. Among them are Neonicotinoid insecticides (in short: neonics) that, due to the risk they pose for the environment and pollinating insects in particular, are regulated through the precautionary principle.

UiB received supplementary funding for building an epistemic network in Norway on bees, pesticides and precaution

On 17 December 2019, the UiB partner received supplementary funding from the Norwegian Research Council to increase the impact, relevance, and applicability of the RECIPES results in Norway. The funding will be used to establish a network of Norwegian NGOs, interest groups, lawmakers, politicians, science advisers and academics and gather them for co-creation workshops that will both serve as a soundboard and source of knowledge and inspiration, and will be an arena to disseminate, reality-check and quality control RECIPES results. We will focus on the RECIPES case study on neonicotinoid pesticides.

RECIPES' Case Studies: Aligning Precaution and Innovation

How can we ensure that innovative products and solutions are fostered and encouraged when their impacts on human health and the environment are not fully known? The Precautionary Principle (PP) enables authorities to take precautionary measures by means of pre-damage control when scientifically plausible but uncertain that a new technology or product may cause harm.