Rachel's Precaution Reporter #17

"Foresight and Precaution, in the News and in the World"

Wednesday, December 21, 2005
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Table of Contents Edition

Precautionary Principle: Reasonable, Rational, and Responsible
  Using examples from modern life (chemicals in breast milk, toxic
  lead in paint, fetal alcohol syndrome, and toxic flame retardants),
  toxicologist Steve Gilbert presents five common elements to a
  precautionary approach. We successfully apply precaution in the
  pharmaceutical industry, so why can't we apply it to industrial
  chemicals that cause cancer, brain damage, a myriad of other health
  effects, and environmental damage?
Biotech Crops: Sound Science vs. the Precautionary Principle
  Some U.S. farmers argue that "sound science" should convince
  Japanese and European consumers to buy genetically modified foods from
  the U.S. Here Daryll E. Ray, professor of agricultural policy,
  University of Tennessee, suggests that the precautionary approach may
  be more scientific than the "sound science" approach.
Philippino Farmers Call for Ban on Genetically Modified Crops
  Farmers in Mindanao, Philippines recently called for an end to
  industrialized agriculture, a ban on genetically engineered crops, and
  a return to organic growing techniques.
Let Them Eat Precaution
  In this anonymous book review, the American Enterprise Institute
  claims that the third world is being deprived of the benefits of
  genetically modified crops because of the precautionary principle. We
  have added links to offer alternative viewpoints on some of the issues
  raised here. The real food problem in the third world is that millions
  of people are too poor to pay for food that is already available.
  Genetically engineered crops won't solve that problem.


  Rachel's Precaution Reporter offers news, views and practical
  examples of the Precautionary Principle, or Foresight Principle, in
  action. The Precautionary Principle is a modern way of making
  decisions, to minimize harm. Rachel's Precaution Reporter tries to
  answer such questions as, Why do we need the precautionary
  principle? Who is using precaution? Who is opposing precaution?

  We often include attacks on the precautionary principle because we  
  believe it is essential for advocates of precaution to know what
  their adversaries are saying, just as abolitionists in 1830 needed
  to know the arguments used by slaveholders.

  Rachel's Precaution Reporter is published as often as necessary to
  provide readers with up-to-date coverage of the subject.

  As you come across stories that illustrate the precautionary 
  principle -- or the need for the precautionary principle -- 
  please Email them to us at rpr@rachel.org.

  Peter Montague - peter@rachel.org
  Tim Montague   -   tim@rachel.org

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