ECO-Action  [Printer-friendly version]
April 21, 2006


[Rachel's introduction: The precautionary principle continues to
advance in Georgia partly because ECO-Action in Atlanta keeps
stirring the pot in strategic ways, and partly because many
environmental justice activists see precaution as an essential part
of the fight to overcome environmental racism and its effects. See
our earlier story on ECO-Action.]

On April 20th, ECO-Action brought the word on the precautionary
principle to the Morehouse College School of Medicine (MSM) in

The seminar was part of ECO-Action's ongoing work to increase support
in the medical community for the precautionary principle and to inform
health professionals about ways they can support communities to
prevent harm from exposure to toxic hazards and protect public health.

ECO-Action staff member Yomi Noibi and others made presentations to
the school's Department of Community Health and Preventive Medicine,
highlighting the connections between protecting public health and
promoting precaution.

In his presentation, Yomi emphasized why it is important to apply the
precautionary principle to prevent harm to human health and the

The Reverend Richard Bright of the MSM Prevention Research Center
illustrated some unacceptable consequences from current "acceptable"
practices with diethylstilbestrol, pesticides, and sewage and storm
water storage.

Dr. Daniel Blumenthal, Chairman of the MSM Department of Community
Health and Preventive Medicine, focused on the use of the
precautionary principle in medical practice and pharmaceutical drug
approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Three panelists then discussed the presentations. Dr. Martha Elks led
off with a powerful presentation that questioned whether our current
laws are "consistent with our knowledge and values?" She concluded by
saying that harm avoidance laws such as the precautionary principle
are consistent with U.S. laws and traditions.

Dr. Jewel L. Crawford challenged participants to maintain their health
through exercise and diet.

Mr. Sherrill Marcus, an African-American grassroots organizer,
emphasized that the precautionary principle is a much needed tool that
is essential for getting justice for people of color.

Participants left with a greater understanding of the precautionary
principle and agreed to spread the word on precaution.

We can expect more news about a possible Southeast Regional Conference
on Precaution at the MSM in 2007.