Deepening a precautionary european policy

In regulatory practice, the principle of precaution is hardly linked to the ideal of sustainable development. In this article, we argue that it should be. We argue that sustainable development is the sense of an ethics of co-responsibility, while precaution is the attitude needed to realize this sense. From this perspective, we comment on some regulatory practices within the European context regarding authorization requests for deliberate releases of genetically modified crops and show some problems that are popping up there, for example, the difficulties in interpreting the meaning of harm” (and of benefit”), the symptomatic gap between regulatory rule and political practice. Finally, we suggest that, in order to respond to such problems, precaution should find an appropriate translation in the fields of both research and innovation policy, of authorization policy and of economic policy.
Keywords Co-responsibility  precaution  public policy  sustainable development
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DOI 10.1007/s10806-005-1499-0
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Karsten Klint Jensen (2002). The Moral Foundation of the Precautionary Principle. Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 15 (1):39-55.

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Sven Ove Hansson (1997). The Limits of Precaution. Foundations of Science 2 (2):293-306.
Celina Ramjoué (2007). The Transatlantic Rift in Genetically Modified Food Policy. Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 20 (5):419-436.

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