How Europe abuses the ‘precautionary principle’ and stifles innovation

| | January 21, 2014
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Something deeply problematic has happened to the environmental conversation, and it could easily end up costing the EU, and eventually the rest of the world, in food security, wealth, well-being and health benefits.

It is the ever-increasing abuse of the precautionary principle. From being a smart, simple concept it has turned into a destructive sledgehammer for certain policy agendas.

The precautionary principle has been progressively vamped up or weaponized. It is now being used to say you can’t do stuff unless you can prove it won’t be dangerous (guilty until proven innocent). The problem is almost nothing can be proven to be un-dangerous. What if there is no car in sight on the road? An especially fast car could still mow down the kids as they cross for ice cream. Send them down to the crossing? – still dangerous, as more than 800 pedestrians died on US zebra crossings in 2010. With the abused precautionary principle, crossing the street for ice cream simply can’t be condoned.

This simply runs counter to how we act and how and where we weigh benefits – even rather trivial ones – with risks – even serious but unlikely ones.

Read the full, original article: The Abuse of the Precautionary Principle

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