The mission of PSR to prevent what cannot be cured is echoed in the concept of the precautionary principle, an exciting new articulation of the old maxim “better safe than sorry.”
PSR-LA invites all members to attend a two day hands-on workshop, January 18 & 19, 2002, on the campus of Occidental College. The focus of the workshop is to look at the current implimentation of the principle at the national status and to develop a local strategy for its use.
The basic tenet of the precautionary principle is “when an activity raises a threat to human health and the environment, we should act to do no further harm even in the face of scientific uncertainty,” according to the Wingspread Institutional accord.
Pesticide reform is one of the myriad complex problems to which the precautionary principle is currently being applied. For example, there is a growing body of evidence that pesticides are bioaccumulative and can pose serious public health threats. Some scientists and politicians are advocating caution before science to reduce these types of threats. More specifically, the precautionary principle seeks to influence policy which would limit widespread damage from the thousands of unknown chemicals introduced to the environment.
Carolyn Raffensperger, Executive Director of the Science and Environmental Health Network (SEHN) coauthored The Precautionary Principle in Action: A Handbook and is a featured speaker at the workshop. Also featured is Ted Schettler, M.D., Science Director for SEHN. SEHN is a consortium of environmental groups that is a leading proponent of the principle in North America. Peter Montague, cofounder and director of Environmental Research Foundation and editor of Rachel’s Environmental News (www.rachel.org) will also speak at the workshop.
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