Although Europe has decided to ban harmful pesticides to protect bees, the US Environmental Protection Agency has declined to do the same, stating that there isn't enough evidence to merit a moratorium and instead promising a review that will take five years.
The European Commission will enact a 2-year ban on neonicotinoids, a class of pesticides thought to be harming bee populations and contributing to massive bee colony die-offs. The two chemical companies that dominate the billion dollar neonic market, Bayer and Syngenta, fought the ban.
The American Academy of Pediatrics released a policy statement in November 2012 warning that exposure to pesticides can result in cancer, decreased cognitive function and behavioral problems in children. They recommend that families learn about integrated pest management, which means seeking out the least toxic methods of dealing with pest problems in the home and garden.
The Oregonian's recent article on this topic provides specific tips for pesticide-free gardening, such as spraying plants with water to remove aphids, or picking slugs off plants by hand.