The Precautionary Principle urges action in the best interests of children based on the information available at a given point in time. With regard to environmental issues, waiting for absolute and conclusive research can potentially put a generation of children at unnecessary risk.1
The Precautionary Principle:
When an activity raises threats of harm to the environment or human health, precautionary measures should be taken, even if some cause and effect relationships are not fully established scientifically.2
• Taking anticipatory action in the face of scientific uncertainty
• Exploring alternatives to possibly harmful actions
• Placing the burden of proof on proponents of an activity rather than on the victims or potential victims of the activity; and
• Using democratic processes to carry out and enforce the Principle, including the public right to informed consent.
1Canadian Institute of Child Health. The Health of Canada’s Children and Youth: A CICH Profile. Guiding Principles. https://cichprofile.ca/about-the-profile/guiding-principles/– accessed March 12th, 2017; The Health of Canada’s Children: A CICH Profile, Third edition, 2000. Canadian Institute of Child Health: p. 255.
2Raffensperger, C. 1999. Protecting Public Health and the Environment – Implementing the Precautionary Principle.