chapter  10
21 Pages

From post-caution to precaution

ByRobert Crocker

In contrast to the precautionary principle – first enunciated in Hippocrates's famous dictum, 'First do no harm'– the post-cautionary 'principle' most follow, perhaps unaware that they do so, insists that possible harm can be ignored until after it has become a problem. While the precautionary principle is widely understood, its significance in the creation of value, and in the maintenance and development of communities and commercial relationships, is still neglected. The 'burden of proof' of damage in this post-cautionary world rests on linking, in the lab, the evidential effect of a product, on what it has proven to have damaged, back to its chemical cause. Businesses and governments across the world are increasingly taking co-creation-led processes more seriously, since they can be harnessed to create user-supported outcomes in very different fields. Farmers' markets and organic stores are booming in many parts of the developed world, especially the USA, Canada, Europe and Australia.