Economic Note / March 2005
The French parliament ratified the environmental charter on 28 February 2005. Thus the precautionary principle is now part of the French Constitution. This precautionary principle has become a central demand of radical environmentalist groups since the Rio Summit in 1992. In its name, many governments now intervene in the food, farm products, toy and chemicals markets, to mention just a few. The precautionary principle is presented as a way of making our lives safer, a kind of comprehensive insurance provided by the state for free. It is necessary to reassess this idea and to show that the application of this principle is not an effective way to reduce risk.