The precautionary principle is out-of-step with the modern world

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CREDIT: Flickr/Voice of Russia UK

We face complex questions about the trade-offs involved in producing food, using resources, reducing disease and achieving the societies and environments in which we want to live. There’s a collision between short-term and long-term outcomes, narrow interests and broader ones, and between problems and opportunities, the consequences of which may be unforeseeable.

However simple we might wish managing uncertainty about the future to be, it’s not. The precautionary principle advocates arm-wave about complexity and the unknown future, but they are producing a response that implies the exact opposite. In place of informed, real-world choices that include the potential implications of both doing something and not doing it, we have simplistic bans, precaution’s monotonous answer to every challenge.

Read the full story here: The precautionary principle is a blunt instrument

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