precautionary principle

World English Dictionary
precautionary principle
 
n
the precept that an action should not be taken if the consequences are uncertain and potentially dangerous

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Main Entry:  precautionary principle1
Part of Speech:  n
Definition:  the theory that an action should be taken when a problem or threat occurs, not after harm has been inflicted; an approach to decision- making in risk management which justifies preventive measures or policies despite scientific uncertainty about whether detrimental effects will occur
Example:  The precautionary principle was adopted by the UN Conference on Environment and Development.
Etymology:  1988
Main Entry:  precautionary principle2
Part of Speech:  n
Definition:  in environmental matters, the theory that if the effects of a product or action are unknown, then the product should not be used or the action should not be taken
Example:  A comprehensive definition of the precautionary principle was spelled out in a meeting of scientists, lawyers, policy makers and environmentalists.
Etymology:  1988
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