Precautionary principle

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Concept.png Precautionary principle 
(scientific principle)Rdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
Innovation vs. Precaution.png
Better safe than sorry

The precautionary principle (or precautionary approach) is a philosophical approach to innovations with the potential for causing harm when extensive scientific knowledge on the matter is lacking.[1]

Official narrative

The precautionary principle emphasizes caution, pausing and review before leaping into new innovations that may prove disastrous. It informs public policy and decision making.


While the intention is to prevent harm, corporations can use their leverage on regulatory bodies so that it is applied selectively.

  • mobile communications technologies have since the 1990s been pushed on the market, while safety data was not existing; the WHO does list it (still) as "Possible Human Carcinogen" [2] - after heavy pressure from the industry to not go further (to not use the word "likely")[citation needed]
  • around 2004 [3][4][5] the EU started the process of enacting legislation that prevented small producers of (herbal based) health remedies to sell their products - the testing processes for market approval were made too expensive for these smaller companies, practically ending their business,[6][7][8][9][10] or preventing start of it. The regulations went so far as to make high quality genotoxic data a requirement for approval (!) [11][12][13]
  • mRNA based vaccines did not have any safety data but were administered on a mass scale anyway

Other uses

In politics

The precautionary principle was exploited by Vice President Dick Cheney to create an excuse to do whatever he already wanted to do. As told by Ron Suskind[14]:

Cheney listened intently, hard-eyed, clamped down tight. When the briefing finished, he said nothing for a moment. And then he was ready with his different way, a different way of thinking: 'If there's a 1 percent chance that Pakistani scientists are helping al-Qaida build or develop a nuclear weapon, we have to treat it as a certainty, in terms of our response,' Cheney said. He paused to assess his declaration. 'It's not about our analysis or finding a preponderance of evidence,' he added. 'It's about our response.' "So, now spoken, it stood, a standard of action that would frame events and responses from the administration for years to come, the Cheney doctrine. Even if there's just a 1 percent chance of the unimaginable coming true, act as if it's a certainty. It's not about our analysis, as Cheney said. It's about our response. The doctrine, the 1 percent solution, divided what has largely been indivisible in the conduct of American foreign policy, analysis and action.

External links

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  12. explained in this video (in German) by Dr Gottfried Lange (bio from old website, current website): Das Aus für Heilpflanzen und Naturheilmittel - Dr. Gottfried Lange (ca 2010, via Alpenparlament TV)
  13. saved at (video is archived, buffering may take a while) saved at