David Andow provides examples of environmental risk assessment (ERA), their uses and acceptability to validate environmental policy. When ERA is carried out, the public is more likely to accept policy decisions. However, it is imperfect and could be improved by including cultural significance as part of ERA. Polarization of opinions results from the fact that some people see mostly benefits and some people see mostly risks and everyone balances risks and benefits differently. It’s a social phenomenon with no agreement about how we weigh the factors involved and, therefore, it is impossible to reach consensus.
Agricultural nanotechnology; food safety; food security; sustainability; global food security; developing world needs; risk assessment; threats; animal diseases; plant pathogens;
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