SEHN

Visionary Science, Ethics, Law and Action in the Public Interest

Precautionary Principle – Number 200

Precaution Advocacy

March 2011

 

I.   Green chemistry signed into law in Michigan 

Ecolink, February 2011

Kudos to precaution advocates in Michigan for the new green chemistry law! “The legislation signed in December amends statutes dealing with state economic development programs focusing on high technology and on new and developing energy sectors in order to make enterprises engaged in the development of “green chemistry” eligible for grants, tax credits, and other benefits that are available to participants in the programs.”

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II. Great Lakes are no place for radioactive cargo 

Stephen Bede Scharper, Toronto Star, February 21, 2011

“Here, the Iroquois Confederation’s Seventh Generation principle, which claims communities should not make decisions which bring harm or destruction seven generations into the future, dovetails nicely with the precautionary principle, enshrined in the Canadian Environmental Protection Act.”

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III. New Study Reveals Dangers of Prenatal Pesticide Exposure

Poornima Weerasekara, New America Media, News Report, Feb 18, 2011

Among the findings of a 12-year study by researchers at UC Berkeley and community medical centers in the Salinas Valley was a discovery that prenatal pesticide metabolites are “linked to increased odds of 5-year old children scoring high on tests for attention disorders.” A study author “points out that the group of pesticides they examined are widely used, and that the results from this study are a red flag that warrants precautionary measures.”

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IV. CELA criticises offshore wind moratorium

Low Carbon Economy, nd (~February 21, 2010)

The Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA) has criticized the Ontario government’s recent decision to impose a moratorium on processing applications for offshore wind power. The association cited the Minister of the Environment’s statements that the moratorium is a precautionary measure due to “lack of science” on drinking water safety.

“Applying precaution is not about responding to a ‘lack of science’ but about taking action in the face of uncertain but deeply troubling scientific information,” said CELA’s executive director.

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V. Fluoride — If In Doubt, Keep It Out

Councilmember Peter Vallone, Jr., Queens Gazette, February 9, 2011

A Queens, NY councilmember argues: “Even the union representing the scientists at EPA headquarters has said, ‘The toxicity of fluoride is so great and the purported benefits…are so small, if there are any at all, that requiring every man, woman and child in America to ingest it borders on criminal behavior.’ It’s time for an intelligent discussion to be had on this controversial practice. I believe after that occurs, most people will support New York City using the Precautionary Principle which states, if in doubt, leave it out.”

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VI. Breeders Welcome Coalition Policy

Racing and Sports (Australia),17 February 2011 

An Australian horse breeders association lauds land use policy adopted by the New South Wales Liberal/Nationals Coalition. The breeders “have been calling for a precautionary approach to be applied to the granting of exploration and mining licences in the Hunter Valley” including “a stop to the sterilisation of productive agricultural lands, the development of strategic land use plans and the assessment of the cumulative impacts of mining.”

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VII. Lady Gaga Receives Dressing Room Flowers From Pong

American Banking News February 26, 2011

According to this press release, “It has been well documented that Lady Gaga is concerned about the manufacturers’ warnings on cell phone radiation and will not hold it to her ear. As precautionary steps, Lady Gaga reportedly uses her speaker phone and holds the phone away from her head. . . . Pong also supports the precautionary principle to guard and protect against possible harm, just like a seat belt in a car. So Pong has produced the world’s only cell phone device that reduces radiation exposure while fully maintaining or even improving signal strength.”

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