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Precautionary Principle

The precautionary principle is a response to uncertainties over potentially harmful impacts to humans and the environment. The precautionary principle can be described in two ways. First, it specifies that it is better to avoid a set of actions if they contain potential serious or irreversible negative outcomes. In a more active form, taking a precautionary approach may necessitate action to avoid the potential negative consequences of delay or inaction.

A precautionary approach is used to manage potentially harmful actions (e.g., illegal hunting), processes (e.g., nuclear proliferation), products (e.g., asbestos) and technologies (e.g., genetically modified organisms). The precautionary principle can be implemented to secure personal well-being in the face of external threats or may be applied altruistically in order to safeguard resources and prevent potential harm ...

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