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Rachel's Precaution Reporter #25

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

Wednesday, February 15, 2006
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Table of Contents Edition

Op-Ed: Curing Our Public Health System
  For 100 years, the cornerstone of public health theory and practise
  has been "primary prevention" -- preventing disease instead of having
  to cure it. Really, the precautionary principle is nothing more than a
  traditional public health approach. If they ever got together,
  citizens who favor the precautionary approach and public health
  specialists in every county and municipality might discover that they
  are natural allies.
Bush Administration Proposes New Risk Assessment Methods
  New rules proposed for government "risk assessments" may stifle
  regulation. Toxicologist Jennifer Sass of the Natural Resources
  Defense Council suggests that scientists won't be able to meet the
  standards for risks for which there are little underlying data. "I'm
  concerned that regulations will die at OMB [Office of Management and
  Budget]" as a result, she says.
EPA Scientists Criticize OMB's Call for Alternative Risk Models
  The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has proposed new rules
  for risk assessments conducted by federal agencies. Scientists within
  the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are not enthusiastic.
Studies of Chemicals in Humans Are Driving a Prevention Agenda
  "Instead of waiting for conclusive evidence, many activists say
  there is enough information to start banning chemicals. They argue
  that manufacturers should have to prove new chemicals are safe before
  they are approved for use. This requires embracing the precautionary
  principle, which argues that in the absence of conclusive evidence in
  face of a serious threat, we must still take action."
Income Inequality Grew Across the Country Over the Past Two Decades
  A prevention philosophy applied to the health of U.S. citizens
  would focus on growing inequalities of income and wealth. Numerous
  studies over the past 30 years have shown that inequalities, social
  alienation, and a pyramid of hierarchies make people especially
  susceptible to many diseases including cancer, diabetes, arthritis and
  heart disease.


  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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