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CAST publishes paper on precautionary principle

The Council on Agricultural Science and Technology has published a paper on the precautionary principle, the idea popular in Europe that policymakers should use extreme caution in adopting new technologies.

Focused on feeding a growing population, the case studies center on agricultural issues such as pesticide use, genetically modified foods and food irradiation.

The authors state the precautionary principle has played an important role in bringing attention to appropriate risk management, but may also suppress innovation in a way that is “reckless, arbitrary and ill advised.”