Ditch the precautionary principle and innovate, to further the global control of food

Corporate-political alliances in many countries seek to control the food supply and to profit, not only by trading activities, but by speculation.

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stephen drucker insert.

Bayer, Dow Chemical, Novartis and Syngenta – why was Monsanto’s name missing?

Recently, the CEOs of several agrochemical companies sent a letter to the Presidents of the European Commission, Parliament and Council calling on them to stop applying the precautionary principle to risk assessments and start applying the ‘Innovation Principle’, to stimulate economic recovery in Europe.

ERF logoThe companies used the medium of the European Risk Forum, whose policy briefs are said to provide high-level, focused analysis of major regulatory issues; their ‘Communication 12’ may be read via this link.

Was Monsanto following the Tesco example? Having become very unpopular, Tesco dropped its name from its new convenience stores, Was Monsanto advised not to sign by its peers for the same reason – or was it a company decision?

Recently agro-chemical industries have:

  • organised the first European Innovation Summit – hosted by Ireland during their EU Presidency;
  • posted many ‘opinion pieces’ on various mainstream media on GM (golden rice in particular)
  • accused environmentalists of hindering progress and causing the death of thousands of children;
  • created media space for ‘GM ambassadors’ such as Mark Lynas and the UK environment minister, Owen Paterson..

EEA logo

However, a recent report from the European Environment Agency has documented the benefits of taking precautionary action which often include resource and cost savings, as well as secondary societal and economic benefits.

It concludes that use of the precautionary principle accelerates innovation, reducing the costs of harm by promoting the development of more efficient and safer alternatives to polluting activities and products.

Late lessons from early warnings: science, precaution, innovation. European Environment Agency, EEA Report No 1/2013.

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Posted on October 19, 2013, in Conflict of interest, Corporate political nexus, Government, Lobbying, Media, Planning, Vested interests and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Hello, thank you for this article. Were you aware of the following Precautionary Principle consultation.

    There is a reference to the article in the comments.

    http://www.campaignforrealfarming.org/2014/02/gm-consultation-announced-by-science-technology-select-committee/

    It is almost surreal……

    “European regulations restricting the growth of genetically modified (GM) foods in the UK and across the continent are to be scrutinised in a new cross-party parliamentary inquiry launched today by MPs on the Science and Technology Committee.

    The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) believes that GM is one of several technologies necessary to foster a “vibrant sector” in UK agriculture. But the European Union’s application of the ‘precautionary principle’ has been criticized for holding back development of the technology, despite European Commission reports finding no scientific evidence associating GM organisms with higher risks for the environment or food and feed safety.

    Launching the inquiry, Andrew Miller MP, Chair of the Science and Technology Committee, said:

    “GM technology potentially offers an array of benefits, but concerns are being expressed that it is being held back by misuse of the precautionary principle.

    In this inquiry we will be looking at whether such restrictions are hampering UK scientific competitiveness and whether they are still appropriate in light of the available evidence on the safety of GM.”

  2. Yes Theresa, we admire the work of this campaign founded by Colin Tudge. This consultation is one of many attempts by industry to water down the already intermittent use of the precautionary principle.

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