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Taleb’s “The Precautionary Principle (with application to GMOs)”. Advocacy Masquerading as Rational Argument.

The Precautionary Principle (with application to the Genetic Modification of Organisms) suggests that GMOs pose a “ruin” problem, “in which a system is at risk of total failure”. Taleb and colleagues believe that the risks from GMOs, even if small, can mount up and spread because our agricultural and natural systems are globally connected. So even though each risk may be “small and reasonable”, they “accumulate inevitably to certain irreversible harm.” Taleb et.al. say these potential threats pose the “risk of global harm”. Not just local harm, which we can live with, but global.

They argue that these characteristics warrant a strong Precautionary Principle approach, essentially a ban on GMOs, at least while much more research is done.

via On Taleb et.al.’s “The Precautionary Principle (with application to the Genetic Modification of… — Medium.

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