The reality of precaution

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Series Details 18.07.14
Publication Date 18/07/2014
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As the sixth round of EU-US trade talks on a new trade and investment deal, known as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, or TTIP, were finishing in July 2014, Notre Europe published the Synthesis of a book dealing with one of the key issues of the negotiations: the precautionary principle.

This Synthesis underlines the main arguments of the book 'The reality of precaution. Comparing Risk Regulation in the United States and Europe', a research study led by two Americans (Jonathan B. Wiener and James K. Hammitt) and two Europeans (Michael D. Rogers, and Peter H. Sand), which shed light over the claims of a more precautionary Europe.

The book proves that these claims are largely based on stereotypes and generalisations. The reality of precaution is not one region being more precautionary than the other but a scenario of occasional and selective application of precaution to different risks in different places and time.

The Synthesis is divided in 4 parts:

1. The evolution of risk regulation in the EU and the US
2. Quantitative analysis (with a Table analysing 100 risks)
3. Qualitative analysis
3.1. Beef, Hormones, and Mad Cows
3.2. Stratospheric Ozone Depletion and Global Climate Change
3.3. Automobile emissions
3.4. Nuclear Power
3.5. The Marine Environment
4. Explaining the complex pattern of precaution
4.1. Political and institutional factors
4.2. The impact of the legal systems
4.3. The role of cost and benefit analysis
4.4. Explaining the patterns of relative precaution cognitive availability

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ESO: Key Source: Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)

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