Rachel's Precaution Reporter #39

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

Wednesday, May 24, 2006..............Printer-friendly version
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Table of Contents Edition

Global Coalition Sounds the Alarm On Synthetic Biology
  In October 2004, an editorial in the British scientific journal
  Nature warned, "If biologists are indeed on the threshold of
  synthesizing new life forms, the scope for abuse or inadvertent
  disaster could be huge." Now, less than two years later, there is no
  doubt that biologists have crossed that threshold. The race is on to
  invent and commercialize new forms of life never before seen on Earth.
The Catania Resolution On Electromagnetic Radiation
  The human body can be viewed as a machine whose internal parts
  communicate via chemicals and electricity. Can electromagnetic field
  (EMF) radiation from cell phones, cordless phones, wireless networks,
  etc. cause biological effects in humans? "The weight of evidence calls
  for preventive strategies based on the precautionary principle. At
  times the precautionary principle may involve prudent avoidance and
  prudent use."
School Board Adopts Precaution Toward Electromagnetic Radiation
  Considerable evidence now suggests that electromagnetic fields may
  cause biological effects in humans, so it makes sense to limit the
  exposure of children as a precautionary measure.
European Union's Communication On the Precautionary Principle
  The European Commission (EC) is the environmental agency of the
  European Union (EU). In 1992, the EU included the precautionary
  principle in its founding document, the Treaty on the European Union,
  also known as the Maastricht Treaty. In early 2000 the EC adopted a
  "Communication on the use of the precautionary principle," reprinted
  below, which spelled out how the principle would be applied in
  environmental decisions.


  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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