CAST report scrutinizes the “Precautionary Principle”
bringing attention to the need to better define the appropriate level and form of risk management that should be applied in various situations. However they say, application of the principle has been too broad, extreme, biased and arbitrary.
Governments have exploited the PP’s ambiguity and arbitrariness to adopt protectionist policies, and activist groups have used the PP to apply a double standard of higher scrutiny and demands for certain technologies of which they disapprove. In some cases, the PP has the net effect of increasing overall health and environmental risks by impeding safety-enhancing technologies.
For millions of people who lack adequate nutrition, or will as the food demand-supply gap widens, the PP does more harm than good, the authors say. Its application holds back technology, innovation, incomes, environmental improvements, and health benefits, while increasing trade disruptions, risks and human suffering.
The authors conclude the “Goldilocks strategy” could be the most appropriate approach to risk management – not too little precaution, not too much, but just the right amount is needed.
Read the full report from CAST.