The Precautionary Principle

The Precautionary Principle: why has Canada failed to implement it?

Presenter: Dr. Joan Russow

October, 2013

Dr. Joan Russow filed a petition, with the Canadian Commissioner on the Environment, about Canada‚Äôs failure to implement the precautionary principle. She cited 14 issues. 

Along with Nigerian Nnimmo Bassey, she also has circulated a petition, using the precautionary principle, calling for a global ban on genetically engineered food and crops. Nnimmo Bassey was the 2010 co-recipient of the Right Livelihood Award.

From September 17 to 30 this year, she was at the United Nations circulating information about the petition to members of NGOs and members of state delegations which were not from GMO-producing states.  There was wide support for calling for a global ban.

There are now  640 signatures.  When we reach 1000 signatures, we will send it around to the UN Missions in New York and Geneva, and the FAO in Rome.

Joan will lead off the discussion about the global failure to implement the precautionary principle which has become an international peremptory norm.  In  1992, all states adopted the precautionary principle in the Rio Declaration, and most states incurred an obligation to abide by the precautionary principle in the UN Framework on Climate Change, and in the Convention on Biological Diversity and some states incurred an obligation through the side agreement to the UN Convention on the Law of the seas.