?The publication aims to familiarizestudents of public policy with the precautionary principle, which plays a vitalrole in the European Unions approach toward regulating risks. Theprecautionary principle contends that policy makers should refrain from actionshaving a suspected risk of causing harm to the public. Although the provisionsof the precautionary principle are reflected by many European policies, thereare equally instances where actions are taken in spite of persisting scientificuncertainty. The question thus arises under which conditions the application ofthe precautionary principle is hampered. The book addresses this question onthe basis of three in-depth analyses. The first two cases illustrate regulatorysituations, in which food products were preventatively banned from the Europeanmarket, namely US beef produced with growth hormones and the natural sweetenerStevia. The third case study is about the legalization of the commercialcultivation of genetically modified crops in spite of scientific uncertaintyabout their overall impact on human health and the ecosystem.  These case studies show that it is not theavailability of scientific evidence that predominantly determines theapplication of the precautionary principles but the power of economic interestsin the multi-level system of the European Union. The book concentrates on therelevance of scientific evidence for policy making and interest group politics,making the book of interest to both academics and policymakers concerned withregulation.?

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