chapter  13
14 Pages

Social learning with the precautionary principle at the European Commission and the Codex Alimentarius

ByJim Dratwa

The phrase ‘precautionary principle’ has been incorporated into international texts since the 1980s. Although it arguably originated in the Vorsorgeprinzip of German federal environmental legislation in the 1970s, it is often traced back to the Rio Declaration, which states in its Principle 15:

In order to protect the environment, the precautionary approach shall be widely applied by States according to their capabilities. Where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent environmental degradation.