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How to be Cautious but Open to Learning: Time to Update Biotechnology and GMO Legislation
Philosophy and History, KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy and History of Technology, Philosophy.
2016 (English)In: Risk Analysis, ISSN 0272-4332, E-ISSN 1539-6924, Vol. 36, no 8, 1513-1517 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Precautionary measures to protect human health and the environment should be science based. This implies that they should be directed at a potential danger for which there is credible scientific evidence (although that evidence need not be conclusive). Furthermore, protective measures should be updated as relevant science advances. This means that decisionmakers should be prepared to strengthen the precautionary measures if the danger turns out to be greater than initially suspected, and to reduce or lift them, should the danger prove to be smaller. Most current legislation on agricultural biotechnology has not been scientifically updated. Therefore, it reflects outdated criteria for identifying products that can cause problems. Modern knowledge in genetics, plant biology, and ecology has provided us with much better criteria that risk analysts can use to identify the potentially problematic breeding projects at which precautionary measures should be directed. Legislation on agricultural biotechnology should be scientifically updated. Furthermore, legislators should learn from this example that regulations based on the current state of science need to have inbuilt mechanisms for revisions and adjustments in response to future developments in science.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Blackwell Publishing, 2016. Vol. 36, no 8, 1513-1517 p.
Keyword [en]
Agricultural biotechnology, GMO, plant breeding, precautionary principle, science-based precaution
National Category
Environmental Health and Occupational Health
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-194022DOI: 10.1111/risa.12647ISI: 000383771600002PubMedID: 27305655ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84984663175OAI: diva2:1037610

QC 20161017

Available from: 2016-10-17 Created: 2016-10-14 Last updated: 2016-10-17Bibliographically approved

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