May 21, 2013
Democracy and Government Regulation
Democratic debate and transparent governance are key to addresssing any of the socio-economic, ethical, environmental and safety concerns of genetic engineering.
CBAN Members have worked ceaselessly to bring to light critical analyses of Canadian regulation and have a great deal of expertise in this area. CBAN is committed to improving regulation and spurring Parliamentary debate.
CBAN advocates the use of the precautionary principle as a means by which society can participate in discussion over the role of new technologies.
Science cannot answer the question “how do we want to live?” and appealing exclusively to science in decision-making can close down democratic debate and public participation. People who live in communities affected by the introduction of new technologies, like farmers for example, have knowledge to contribute about the risks of new technologies, knowledge which is usually ignored.
“It is now generally recognized in scholarly literature on the nature of risk analysis that many aspects of the task of assessing the magnitude of technological risks and managing them within the limits of safety involve judgments and decisions that are not themselves strictly scientific."
- Royal Society of Canada Expert Panel on the Future of Food Biotechnology, report, page 8, 2001.