06/08/2011 02:11 pm ET Updated Aug 08, 2011

It's Time to Apply The Precautionary Principle

A few months ago I was speaking to a class at Lafayette College in Easton, PA about my book, Organic Manifesto. Afterward, the professor asked me if I was aware of the precautionary principle, which is a scientific term that means something has to be proven safe before it can be unleashed, as opposed to proven dangerous after it has been unleashed (which is the standard in America today).

I was so intrigued that I wrote the term in pen on my hand so I wouldn't forget, because I believe that this is the root of our problems with our health and the environment. Good clean science depends on isolating variables and replicating results over time...usually a LONG time. (How many times have you read an important study that ends with "more research is needed"?) In our unisolated, super-high-speed world today, it's almost impossible to do good clean science. And if it is done, and something is proven unsafe, the actual removal of the toxins is expensive, complicated, and, frankly, excruciating for everyone. In the meantime, all of us, especially our children, are the unwitting lab rats. How's that for good clean science?

For the rest of this article and more from Maria Rodale, go to

Related Links:
Why Modern Organic Farming Is The Only Thing That Can Feed the World - Maria's Farm Country Kitchen
Genes From GMO Food Do Wind Up In Humans, Study Shows -
The Precautionary Principle

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