Perspectives and Prospects
Edited by Elizabeth Fisher, Judith Jones and René von Schomberg
Chapter 14: A Framework for the Precautionary Governance of Food Safety: Integrating Science and Participation in the Social Appraisal of Risk
Andy Stirling, Ortwin Renn and Patrick van Zwanenberg1 1. INTRODUCTION The precautionary principle has been adopted in a variety of forms at international, European Union and national levels (Fisher, 2002). It is applied across an increasing number of national jurisdictions, economic sectors and environmental areas (Trouwborst, 2002; de Sadeleer, 2002). It has moved from the regulation of industry, technology and health risk, to the wider governance of science, innovation and trade (O’Riordan and Cameron, 1994; Raﬀensperger and Tickner, 1999; Harding and Fisher, 1999; O’Riordan et al., 2001). As it has expanded in scope, so it has grown in proﬁle and authority. In particular, at a European level, the precautionary principle is explicitly laid down as a guiding principle of EC environmental policy (Article 174 (2) of the EC Treaty) and recognized both by the European Court of Justice (for example, ECJ 1998) and the European Commission (Commission of the European Communities, 2000) to be a general principle of EC law. In the aftermath of a series of formative public health controversies, economic calamities and political conﬂicts (such as those involving BSE and GM crops), precaution is nowhere of greater salience or importance than in the ﬁeld of food safety (van Zwanenberg and Millstone, 2005). Despite the intensity of the policy attention, however, there remain a number of serious ambiguities and queries concerning the nature and appropriate role of the precautionary principle in governance (Cross, 1996; Morris, 2000; Stone, 2001; Majone, 2002; Marchant and Mossman, 2004). These are...
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