The following year Beverley Paigen, a cancer researcher who became involved
in a controversy over whether to relocate households living on top of a disused industrial waste dump (the Love Canal), described: … a conversation [she] had with a Health Department epidemiologist concerning the data on adverse pregnancy outcomes at Love Canal. We both agreed that we should take the conservative approach only to find that in every case we disagreed over what the conservative approach was. To him ‘conservative’ meant that we must be very cautious www.selleckchem.com/products/AZD6244.html about concluding that Love Canal was an unsafe place to live. The evidence had to be compelling because substantial financial resources were needed to correct the problem. To me ‘conservative’ meant that we must be very cautious about concluding that Love canal learn more was a safe place to live. The evidence
had to be compelling because the public health consequences of an error were considerable. And so we disagreed on specific detail after specific detail. Jellinek’s point that “postponing action … is a decision” in the same way as taking regulatory action was reiterated by Grandjean (2004); the larger issue of the need to set standards of proof based on explicit normative consideration of the potential consequences of Type I and Type II errors in policy was comprehensively revisited in the academic literature by Cranor (1993: 3–48) and subsequently by Shrader-Frechette (1996: 20–23), Lemons et al. (1997) and Parascandola (2010), among others. Contrasting orientations characterize recent approaches to regulating environmental and consumer product risks in the
United States and the European Union. In the latter, the precautionary principle is written into a variety of legal instruments, often resulting in stricter regulatory standards (i.e., less emphasis on avoiding Type I errors) than in the United States (Vogel, 2012). This has not always been the case, and critically, neither approach is Tryptophan synthase more scientific or ‘science-based’, and neither is ‘correct’. Rather, the approaches reflect application of different sets of values to dealing with scientific uncertainty. This point remains inadequately understood, as shown for example by Löfstedt’s (2013) effort to contrast “evidence based” regulation (based on quantitative risk assessment) with what he sees as the “unscientific” application of the precautionary principle. Such lack of understanding arguably continues to compromise the quality of public policy toward environmental risks such as hormonally active agents or “endocrine disrupters” (Kortenkamp et al., 2012 and van Vliet and Jensen, 2012).