Analysis of the case studies

To fully understand the complexities and the controversies around the application of the precautionary principle, the RECIPES project conducted nine case studies. The aim was to understand and explain the potential differences in the application depending on the topic and the context. A comparison across the different cases indicates that the application of the precautionary principle had positive effects on innovation and contributed to more responsible pathways.

Case Study 6: Glyphosate

About the case

Glyphosate is one of the world’s most widely used herbicides, used in European agriculture to control weeds in a wide range of crops. The substance’s license was recently renewed, causing outrage and controversy due to its assumed connection to carcinogenic effects on humans and animals. Studies have both proven and disproven these carcinogenic effects, calling into question whether the substance should be discontinued until full safety is established.

RECIPES' Case Studies: Aligning Precaution and Innovation

How can we ensure that innovative products and solutions are fostered and encouraged when their impacts on human health and the environment are not fully known? The Precautionary Principle (PP) enables authorities to take precautionary measures by means of pre-damage control when scientifically plausible but uncertain that a new technology or product may cause harm.