Applegate, The Taming of the Precautionary Principle
Finally, although many proponents and opponents of the precautionary principle
treat the precautionary principle
as if it requires bans on potential threats until they are shown to be safe, a range of other positions are also available on this issue.
While some problems exist within REACH's operational framework, in essence the policy of reverse onus is a prevailing alternative to CMP's current interpretation and application of the precautionary principle
. Through the invocation of a system that includes reverse onus, the European Union's REACH represents a stronger approach to the precautionary principle
that achieves a superior balance of effectiveness and efficiency with respect to chemical regulation.
There are multiple interpretations of the precautionary principle
ranging from stronger interpretations, which essentially state that persuasive evidence of harm does not have to exist before measures are taken to protect individuals and society from the harm, to weaker interpretations which argue that actions taken to protect against a harm could be taken, but are not required, and the costs of the precautionary measures should be considered.
that the precautionary principle
is encroaching upon the courts'
A leading British scientist, Sir Colin Berry, has pointed out that all of the great scientific advances of the past 200 years have come from a process of "learning as we went along." If the precautionary principle
had been the guiding maxim our society would have been denied, for example, life saving technologies such as x-rays and blood transfusions.
In February 2000, the European Commission issued a Bulletin on the precautionary principle
to explain with important details its opinions on what this principle represents and how it should be used in the EU environmental policy decisions.
The precautionary principle
states that, "in cases of serious or irreversible threats to the health of humans or ecosystems, acknowledged scientific uncertainty should not be used as a reason to postpone preventive measures" (Martuzzi and Tickner, 2004: 7).
Using mathematical models, they argued that GMOs fall squarely under the precautionary principle
because their risk was systemic.
AS TO THE SECOND ISSUE WHICH INVOLVES THE PRECAUTIONARY PRINCIPLE
, THE APPELLATE BODY IN ITS DECISION:
This Note argues that (1) that the current US chemical regulatory system should be replaced with a regulatory scheme founded on the strong precautionary principle
, which places the burden on chemical manufacturers to affirmatively prove the safety of their chemicals; (8) (2) that such a scheme will lower the demand for chemical safety information needed for regulation while incentivizing data production; (9) (3) that this information must be transparent and publicly available for peer-review;10 (4) that there must be an administrative appeals process for challenging chemical safety decisions; and (5) that the entire scheme must acknowledge both the realities of data shortage and the significant demands that these requirements place on the chemical manufacturing industry.
I've often written about the Precautionary Principle
, which states that, "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." Governments and corporations are not eager to embrace this notion, and civil society must push them towards caution because it often conflicts with profit.