The discord between international and Australian approaches to pesticide regulation and the precautionary principle
School of Business and Law
This article is premised on three specific and interrelated notions that (a) the reduction of the use of pesticides will provide a net benefit both to industry and the population at large in Australia (b) due adherence to the precautionary principle may help to realise appropriate reductions in pesticide use and (c) a robust commitment to caution involves a paradigm shift away from a general acceptance of pesticide use, towards a holistic approach to pest management. This article investigates international norms, principles and best practices around the world regarding safe and sustainable pesticide governance. It analyses Australia’s acceptance of risk associated with pesticides at a legislative level, its incorporation and interpretation of the precautionary principle in other areas of environmental regulation and what impact the precautionary principle might have if it was further embodied in the objects of governing legislation and associated governmental policy.