Precautionary Principle Paper–Rollouts, Reactions, and Panel Discussion Video

June 25, 2013

Update:  A video of the Washington, D.C., panel discussion focusing on CAST Issue Paper 52, “Impact of the Precautionary Principle on Feeding Current and Future Generations” is available here.  Intros (0:0013:00), Dr. Marchant’s presentation of paper (13:0037:00), Panel Discussion (37:001:07), Q&A (1:071:30).

The precautionary principle has affected science, agriculture, and policymakers for several decades, and on Monday, June 24, CAST’s new Issue Paper added credible, peer-reviewed insights to the debate about the principle’s impact. With three events in Washington, D.C., and a release of the publication online, the material has had quick and noteworthy coverage.

Monday began with a small but important briefing to Senate staffers, as the day’s main presenter, Gary Marchant, explained the key points of the paper, Impact of the Precautionary Principle on Feeding Current and Future Generations. Marchant, a Faculty Director and Regents Professor at Arizona State University, was the Task Force Chair for the publication. An NC-FAR Lunch-N-Learn seminar for House staffers came next, and with approximately 90 in attendance, the program went well. Marchant hosted questions after the presentation.

An afternoon panel discussion cohosted by CAST and two Washington-based organizations capped off the day, and another large and attentive audience added to the atmosphere. As panel member Susan Dudley said, “It was a distinguished crowd, and they knew what they were talking about.”

After introductory remarks by CAST Executive Vice President Linda Chimenti, Marchant presented the CAST paper. He was then joined by Dudley (George Washington University Regulatory Studies Center), Sally Kane (Society for Risk Analysis-National Capital Area Chapter), and Ricardo Salvador (Union of Concerned Scientists) for a panel discussion. A lively Q&A session followed.

Chimenti says she is pleased that the CAST publication is making an impact, and she adds, “The panel discussion was a gratifying and successful way to work with other organizations. I want to thank the GWU Regulatory Studies Center and the SRA-National Capital Area Chapter for their help in arranging and hosting this program.”

The publication and the companion Ag quickCAST are available on CAST’s website (click title at upper right), and the content is getting tweets, retweets, and notice on web outlets. For example, the influential Hagstrom Report included the publication on its headline page. The buzz is an indication that credible, peer-reviewed papers can still have an impact in the current world of blogs, tweets, and flash headlines.

 Panel Members (left to right in photo inset above): Ricardo Salvador, Gary Marchant, Susan Dudley, and Sally Kane

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