‘Better safe than sorry’? Precautionary thinking stokes unjustified fear of GMOs, chemicals, biologist says

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“Better safe than sorry.” That’s a great lesson for a child when a parent explains why she should wear a helmet when riding her bicycle. But “better safe than sorry” makes for terrible public health policy.

[T]o fully comprehend the concept of risk, a person must have a very good understanding of statistics and data analysis. The average person has neither.

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What do you think is more dangerous, walking to the corner grocery store to eat GMOs every day or driving to the nearest Whole Foods to avoid GMOs? Most people would probably pick the former; in reality, the latter is, by far, more dangerous. Each year, about 40,000 Americans die in fatal car crashes, a substantial number of which happen close to home. Nobody has yet died from a GMO.

[T]he data make the decision obvious: People should be banned from driving to Whole Foods.

The “better safe than sorry” policy has an actual name: The precautionary principle. It has been enshrined into EU law, and many environmental and health activists believe something similar should be implemented in the United States….

Read full, original article: Precautionary Principle: We Must Ban Driving To Whole Foods

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