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Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Innovation At The Expense Of Sustainability?

The idea that the precautionary principle is a "policy tool for cowards" was recently quoted in the write-up of an interview with an environmental health risk consultant.  According to the piece, R&D in Europe is hampered by "eco-religion".  We know that summer is a quiet time for news but surely this is going too far? 

The idea that a load of treehuggers are preventing successful innovation in Europe is a little far-fetched.  Is it so unreasonable that "you need to prove something is safe before it can be marketed"?

It is an interesting interview, particularly when addressing the influence of both the industry and NGO lobby and the need for research in Europe.  And in some ways I agree that we need "political courage".  But I would argue that the courage we need is to lead Europe towards a cleaner, safer and more sustainable future.

Read the interview at http://euractiv.com/en/science/eu-rd-efforts-hampered-eco-religion/article-184484.

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