Precautionary Principle

Achieving sustainable development relies on the proportionate exercise of the precautionary principle in the regulation of risks. The basic sentiment of the precautionary principle (hereafter, the Principle) is “better a little caution than a great regret” or “better safe than sorry.” The Principle is a regulatory mechanism that enables institutions and decision makers to take into account scientific uncertainty and potential risks of activities before a causal link has been established. In this way, the Principle is a proactive tool used to prevent possibly negative effects on human health and the environment. Embedded in the Principle are controversial issues such as science, perceptions of risk, public involvement, cost and benefits, moral values, and policy making. All of these should be considered within the regulation of ...

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