IF…American business followed the “precautionary clause”…would this even be an issue…??

…IF…American business followed the “precautionary clause”…would this even be an issue…??

Precautionary  PrincipleEnvironmental policy increasingly incorporates the “precautionary principle” which calls upon governments to impose regulatory measures based upon the barest potential of environmental harm. 

Ø      The precautionary principle holds that “When an activity raises threats of harm to human health or environment, precautionary measures should be taken even if some cause and effect relationships are not fully established scientifically.”

Ø      A corollary to the precautionary principle is that the proponent of an activity or new technology should bear the burden of proof to demonstrate that it is without risk.

Ø      Applied in even a mild formulation, the precautionary principle will create “bottlenecks” in the development and distribution of new technologies.

Ø      Some proponents of the precautionary principle call for moratoria on the development and use of biotechnology and the phase-out of chlorinated chemical compounds.

Ø      The precautionary principle was adopted in the Masstricht Treaty of the European Union, referenced in numerous international environmental treaties, and incorporated into the operative provisions of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety.

Ø      Adopting the precautionary principle can increase risks to human health and environmental protection by focusing on the risks posed by the introduction of new technologies while ignoring the risks that new technologies can alleviate or prevent.

Ø      Advocates of the precautionary principle tend to assume that economic growth and development are themselves a threat to public health and environmental protection, yet the rise of industrial society has coincided with a massive explosion of wealth and health that is unprecedented in the history of human civilization.

Ø      To enhance public health and environmental protection, the precautionary principle should not be adopted.  Rather, the risks of new chemicals or products must be weighed against the risks that they ameliorate or prevent.

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