Rachel's Precaution Reporter #42

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

Wednesday, June 14, 2006.............Printer-friendly version
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Table of Contents Edition

An Interview with the President of Seventh Generation
  "Our company provides nontoxic cleaners, recycled paper towels and
  tissues, and other alternatives to unhealthy conventional household
  products. But those products are really just the vehicle for promoting
  an idea called the Precautionary Principle, which says that when it
  comes to things that could affect the environment, we should take a
  good look before we leap and err on the side of caution. If there's
  any doubt about an activity, then that activity should be set aside
  until its safety is proved. It's the opposite of 'shoot first and ask
  questions later,' which is the philosophy that's gotten us into all
  this trouble."
In Canada, Bogus 'Science' Trumps a Legal Mandate for Precaution
  "Mr. Lourie said he conducted an informal survey of about 30
  sources in the government, manufacturing industry, advocacy groups,
  and academics, and only government officials viewed 'sound science' as
  a valid phrase. Even the industry officials surveyed acknowledged the
  term as a strategy for undermining or delaying government action, he
A University Adopts Precaution for Wi-Fi Networks
  If precaution were widely adopted, the Wi-Fi industry would be
  badly hurt. But consider history. Forty years ago almost nobody
  believed cigarette smoking caused long-term health problems --
  although scientists were already sounding the alarm.
Scratch Verizon Off Your List of Precautionary Companies
  A few years ago Verizon, the phone company, invoked the
  precautionary principle, saying children should not use cell phones
  because the hazards were poorly understood. Now as the evidence of
  harm from exposure to electromagnetic radiation mounts up, Verizon is
  aggressively marketing cell phones to children. Money trumps


  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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