U.S. Chamber of Commerce Against the Precautionary Principle
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce issued a policy outlining the reasons that it was against the Precautionary Principle. The objective of the policy was to ensure that regulatory decisions were based on scientific and technically rigorous risk assessments. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce asserts that the principle has far reaching negative consequences for the country and the world at large. It argues that the nature and extent of environmental, health and safety concerns should be studied scientifically and technically to assess the impacts of these concerns.
For instance, the Precautionary Principle, if adopted worldwide would lead to the outlaw of the use of carbon-based fuels. This is because the existence and the extent of global warming cannot be truly determined. Due to this uncertainty, the principle calls for the complete halt of use of the materials possibly associated with global warming, in this case carbon-based fuels (Eaton, 2010).
However, the government contends that there is no way of knowing the harm levels of all carbon based fuels unless with careful scientific analysis. Assuming that all the materials are harmful or pose the same level of risk is not a prudent regulatory mechanism. The economy of the entire nation would collapse if the country was subjected to manufacturing without these types of fuel. In addition, the Precautionary Principle does not offer any alternatives to the carbon-based fuels.
A scientific approach is better because it will help in determining the risk potential of every chemical. The high risk materials will obviously be done away with while the less harmful materials are used under careful monitoring to ensure that they do not cross the risk threshold. It will also aid in the research of new materials thereby giving suitable less harmful materials that can be used in every scenario (Eaton, 2010).
Eaton, T.A. (2010). Taking Sides: Clashing views on environmental issues. Boston, MA: McGraw Hill.