Applying The Precautionary Principle
**The following was originally published here**
A few months ago I was speaking to a class at Lafayette College in Easton, PA about my book, Organic Manifesto. Afterward, the professor asked me if I was aware of the precautionary principle, which is a scientific term that means something has to be proven safe before it can be unleashed, as opposed to proven dangerous after it has been unleashed (which is the standard in America today).
I was so intrigued that I wrote the term in pen on my hand so I wouldn’t forget, because I believe that this is the root of our problems with our health and the environment.
Good clean science depends on isolating variables and replicating results over time…usually a LONG time. (How many times have you read an important study that ends with “more research is needed”?) In our unisolated, super-high-speed world today, it’s almost impossible to do good clean science. And if it is done, and something is proven unsafe, the actual removal of the toxins is expensive, complicated, and, frankly, excruciating for everyone. In the meantime, all of us, especially our children, are the unwitting lab rats. How’s that for good clean science?
Most Americans believe there is a group somewhere deep in the bowels of our bureaucracy that is tasked with ensuring that we are kept safe. Nothing could be further from the truth. And I was sadly reminded of this when I read a recent report that women and infants who were tested in Canada have the toxin Bt—a GMO toxin—in their BLOOD because they have eaten “cheap” GMO-laden foods.
Like I said in my book, GMOs are inside our food. We can’t wash them off or peel them away. And now it seems they’re in our blood, too. (I know they’re in my blood, because I ate a bag of potato chips in the airport the other day. I’m sorry, but I was starving!)
What does all this bode for our future? NO ONE KNOWS FOR SURE. And because we don’t use the precautionary principle as our standard, it might already be too late.
If you want more information on the precautionary principle, this is a good source.
**Maria Rodale is the CEO and Chairman of Rodale, Inc., the world's leading multimedia company with a focus on health, wellness, and the environment, as well as the largest independent book publisher in the United States. You can check out more from Maria here. **