“The precautionary principle or precautionary approach states that if an action or policy has a suspected risk of causing harm to the public or to the environment, in the absence of scientific consensus that the action or policy is harmful, the burden of proof that it is not harmful falls on those taking the action. (emphasis added)
“This principle allows policy makers to make discretionary decisions in situations where there is the possibility of harm from taking a particular course or making a certain decision when extensive scientific knowledge on the matter is lacking. The principle implies that there is a social responsibility to protect the public from exposure to harm, when scientific investigation has found a plausible risk. These protections can be relaxed only if further scientific findings emerge that provide sound evidence that no harm will result.
“In some legal systems, as in the law of the European Union, the application of the precautionary principle has been made a statutory requirement.”
Oram’s comment: I think these words speak for themselves. Europe tries to adhere to this principle. In my opinion and the opinion of my profession, America’s federal and state governmental regulatory agencies should follow Europe’s lead and do likewise.