Chemophobia and the Precautionary Principle

acshlogo“Prescribing Caution with Precautionary Principle,” By Gil Ross.caution150px
Not long ago, Tracey Brown, managing director Sense About Science , a British advocacy group that shares many interests with us here at the American Council, wrote an essay in The Guardian entitled “The Precautionary Principle is a blunt instrument.” To many in the chemophobic, anti-technology camp, the precautionary principle (PP) is akin to the 11th Commandment: Thou shalt make no scientific or industrial progress without first ascertaining that such progress, as it involves introducing anything innovative into the stream of commerce, cannot first be proven safe. OK yes, I paraphrased it substantially. The actual definition of the PP sounds comfortingly academic and rational: “When an activity raises threats of harm to the environment or human health, precautionary measures should be taken even if some cause and effect relationships are not fully established scientifically.” Read more.

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