Biotech Updates

The Truth About the Precautionary Principle

June 26, 2013

A new publication by the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST) on the Impact of the Precautionary Principle on Feeding Current and Future Generations revealed that "in many respects the precautionary principle (PP) does more harm than good".

Precautionary pinciple, is a rapid response to stop distribution, or order withdrawal from the market of products which are likely to be hazardous to human, animal or plant health or to protect the environment. The practice of PP delays adoption of biotech crops in some countries.

The authors chaired by Gary Marchant of Arizona University provided information on the following:

1. examples of the PP's failure to offer a credible and reasoned framework for the application of risk management;
2.examples of inconsistencies and suggested that the PP will be increasingly controversial, marginalized, and ignored in the future; and
3. importance of safety and gave credit to the general concept that sparked the PP but indicated it has become unworkable and counterproductive.

For details, see the news at