What's the Harm? An Evolutionary Theoretical Critique of the Precautionary Principle

Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 20 (2):181-206 (2010)
Abstract
The precautionary principle (“the Principle”) has been widely embraced as the new paradigm for contending with biological and environmental risk in the context of emerging technologies. Increasingly, it is being incorporated into domestic, supranational, and international legal regimes as part of a general overhaul of health and environmental regulation.1 Codifications of the Principle typically are vague, with their content intentionally left for scholars to debate, decision makers to interpret, and the courts to flesh out through case law. Generally speaking, the Principle holds that scientific uncertainty will not be a bar to preventive regulatory action, and that decision makers should err on the side of ..
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