23 July 2009

Precautionary Principle

According to Wikipedia, there are already some jurisdictions in Europe use the precautionary principle as a matter of policy. It would be great to get the precautionary principle into the legal structure here in the USA. I was alerted to this concept most recently by reading this article, First, Do No Harm, in the January/February 2006 issue of World Watch Magazine.

Magazine Article

I found this copy of the magazine at the Free Store, which has all sorts of stuff that people drop off and leave for others to pick up for free.

Here's the Wikipedia precautionary principle article introduction:
The precautionary principle is a moral and political principle which states that if an action or policy might cause severe or irreversible harm to the public or to the environment, in the absence of a scientific consensus that harm would not ensue, the burden of proof falls on those who would advocate taking the action.[1] The principle implies that there is a responsibility to intervene and protect the public from exposure to harm where scientific investigation discovers a plausible risk in the course of having screened for other suspected causes. The protections that mitigate suspected risks can be relaxed only if further scientific findings emerge that more robustly support an alternative explanation. In some legal systems, as in the law of the European Union, the precautionary principle is also a general and compulsory principle of law.[2]

date accessed: July 23, 2009

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