Rethinking Risk and the Precautionary Principle

Front Cover
Julian Morris
Elsevier, Sep 19, 2000 - Business & Economics - 294 pages

Rethinking Risk and the Precautionary Principle challenges the claim that the precautionary principle is an appropriate guide to public policy decision-making in the face of uncertainty.

The precautionary principle is frequently invoked as a justification for regulating human activities. From bans on the use of growth hormones in cattle to restrictions on children's playground activities, precautionary thinking seems to be taking over our lives. As the contributors to this book show, such an approach is of dubious utility and may even be counterproductive.

This is a timely and important contribution to the debate on how to manage risk in the modern world. The editor, Julian Morris, is Director of the Environment and Technology Programme at the Institute of Economic Affairs in London. He has written widely on issues relating to environmental protection and technological development.

  • Up to date discussion of current issues and scientific controversies
  • Challenges the claim that the 'precautionary principle' is an appropriate guide to public policy decisions
 

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Contents

Chapter 1 Defining the precautionary principle
1
Chapter 2 Trial and error versus trial without error
22
Chapter 3 The precautionary principle and our obligations to future generations
46
Chapter 4 Precaution GM crops and farmland birds
60
Chapter 5 Genetically modified fear and the international regulation
84
Chapter 6 Asteroid collisions and precautionary thinking
105
Chapter 7 Child protection and the precautionary principle
127
European risk regulation in the aftermath of BSE
140
Chapter 9 The precautionary principle as a force for global political
167
Chapter 10 Applying the precautionary principle in a broader context
189
Chatper 11 A Richter scale for risk?
229
the use and abuse of subjectivity in scientific research
247
Index
283
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About the author (2000)

Morris is Director of the Environment and Technology Programme at the Institute of Economic Affairs in London.

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