Precautionary Principle

Consumer protection, safeguarding human, animal and vegetable health

Primum non nocere

Over the centuries Hippocrates’ maxim (470-377 BC) “first and foremost do no harm”, which first set limits on the potentially hazardous substances we may be exposed to, has been refined to the point where the common pattern of science and technology is reversed by a commonly embraced principle: the precautionary principle.

The precautionary principle enjoins caution in handling scientifically controversial issues. Before putting a new product on the market, one has to demonstrate it is not a health hazard.

By the Declaration of Rio, ratified in 1992 after the United Nations Conference on the Environment and Development, the need was definitively upheld to combine economic development with protection of the environment via the precautionary principle. This requirement was shared by the European Union: in 2000 it extended application of the precautionary principle beyond the environment to include protection of consumers and human, animal and vegetable health: this is to be the hazard-control strategy whenever the scientific information available is insufficient to ensure the absence of risk.

The approach contrasts with previously held assessment criteria whereby a substance would only be considered dangerous once its toxicity had been proved; nowadays such freedom from risk needs to be demonstrated before the market launch.

Given this background, clearly Glp Life Test has a crucial role to play with its decades of experience in sifting the information available on a substance and performing GLP toxicity trials of various kinds whenever the information is not such as to exclude risk.

Glp Life Test offers an optimal scientific-research method to detect the potential risks of a new substance, process or technology before it is commercialized; it works according to Good Laboratory Practices (GLP) and the latest OECD guidelines, guaranteeing companies and the community more effective and worthwhile investments.

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