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The Precautionary Principle and chemical risks


  • Olivier Godard

    (Department of Economics, Ecole Polytechnique - X - École polytechnique - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)


EU institutions (Commission, Council and Parliament) have adopted the EU doctrine of the Precautionary Principle (PP) in year 2000, whereas the EU is the sole huge region where something called the PP is implemented and controlled by case law. There is nevertheless a huge contrast between this doctrine and other views put forward by stakeholders, specially NGOs, and academic circles. For instance the PP is often confused with a Maximin approach or catastrophism, which are shown to be inconstant standards under uncertainty. Against this background, the links between the PP and the REACH regulation for chemical products are questioned. Beyond common features, it is shown that these normative constructs are no substitutes and that the PP should go on to inspire public action for chemical substances in conjunction with REACH.

Suggested Citation

  • Olivier Godard, 2012. "The Precautionary Principle and chemical risks," Working Papers hal-00689761, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:wpaper:hal-00689761
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    Precautionary principle; Europe; risk management; chemicals; REACH;

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