Definition of precautionary principle in US English:

precautionary principle


  • The principle that the introduction of a new product or process whose ultimate effects are disputed or unknown should be resisted. It has mainly been used to prohibit the importation of genetically modified organisms and food.

    • ‘It would seem to me that the foundation of the precautionary principle has less to do with what is known and unknown, and more to do with the belief that the worst will always happen.’
    • ‘Nations must have the right to exercise the precautionary principle and restrict the import of foods that may threaten their citizens' health.’
    • ‘Even as debate rages about the controversial precautionary principle, many business leaders who may be most affected by its passage have never heard of it.’
    • ‘In effect the precautionary principle asks of science what it cannot provide - a god-like omniscience.’
    • ‘The broader challenge is how to allocate pesticide risks flexibly while conforming to the precautionary principle.’
    • ‘On one level, the precautionary principle makes perfect sense.’
    • ‘Although the precautionary principle is considered controversial by some, many countries have begun to accept and codify it.’
    • ‘I think this means the precautionary principle has won.’
    • ‘Meanwhile, they say, European policy makers are wise to adhere to the precautionary principle of better safe than sorry.’
    • ‘Whatever the precautionary principle means, it is not that we should stop learning and applying that knowledge in the real world.’
    • ‘A balanced approach would be to abide by the precautionary principle, to foster organic agriculture and to prohibit the cosmetic use of pesticides on lawns and parks.’
    • ‘World leaders adopted Principle 15, advocating the widespread international application of the precautionary principle.’
    • ‘The precautionary principle says that when there is any risk of a major disaster, no action should be permitted that increases the risk.’
    • ‘The precautionary principle from environmental law says we just don't know what the consequences of an action are or we haven't begun searching for it.’
    • ‘Finally, I advocate a common-sense interpretation of the precautionary principle and a clear distinction between means and ends.’
    • ‘The precautionary principle throws science out the window.’
    • ‘Europeans would just characterize these steps as the implementation of the precautionary principle.’
    • ‘Were the precautionary principle adopted at the time, penicillin would not have been given to him after so little testing in animals.’
    • ‘She says many natural health experts advise patients to avoid aluminum based on the precautionary principle, and she takes steps to avoid it in her personal life.’
    • ‘The precautionary principle, codified by the European Union, prescribes preventive measures when science is uncertain.’