Precautionary Principles

1050 Words5 Pages
4. Discussion: Is the precautionary principle a desirable approach? There are criticisms about the precautionary principle being applied to GM crops. Therefore the question is whether the precautionary principle is a desirable approach. This paragraph explains some arguments against the use of the principle and some counterarguments. First of all it is claimed that the precautionary principle leads to the impossible demand of establishing an absolute absence of harm with a level of evidence that avoids any uncertainty. It is argued that the principle in this way prevents any innovation from being introduced to the market and that by denying new beneficial products a significant harm, which established products could potentially cause, would…show more content…
Moreover, Van Daele questions the value of the precautionary principle by asking rhetorically if it achieved better health and a better safer environment. Possibly Van den Daele, who is one of the main critics of the precautionary principle applied to GMOs, misunderstood the goals the precautionary principle tries to achieve. The precautionary principle is not designed to make things better than the status quo was before the invention of GM crops. It is an instrument to make sure new technologies and products like GM crops do not change health and environment for the worse. Van den Daele notes that with the precautionary principle in place, “the regulation of new technology still proceeds from the premise that the possibility of risks, that we do not or cannot know, are a price worth paying for innovation, and that we will somehow be able to cope with unforeseen consequences of the technology if and when they…show more content…
However, it has to be pointed out that science is often funded and influenced by corporations and thus not fully independent.. In Great Britain e.g. two-third of the research is funded by industry. An example worth mentioning in this context is the fact that although nowadays it is general knowledge that smoking tobacco poses a health risk, there were scientific studies, which challenged that. This was due to tobacco companies creating and supporting research organizations. This is similar to the marketing behavior of e.g. Monsanto, and thus caution is

More about Precautionary Principles

Open Document