Precautionary Principle’s common sense approach Would you drink lemonade laced with antifreeze if you had no idea it was harmful? Probably — you’d have no good reason not to drink it. It’s not comforting to know that your lemonade producer may not be required to understand the relative danger or safety of its product either.

The Precautionary Principle is the notion that the burden of proof of the “harmlessness” of a product should fall on the shoulders of manufacturers. In other words, a chemical or a chemical process is guilty until proven innocent. This “better-safe-than-sorry” attitude favors the long term over short-term convenience or economic gain, and has huge implications for improving public health in this country.

On Nov. 6, learn more about the Precautionary Principle at a day-long workshop at St. Luke’s Methodist Church, 100 W. 86th St., presented by the Hoosier Environmental Council. For a registration fee ($10 students; $25 public; $50 physicians), you get a gourmet organic lunch and talks by Carolyn Raffensperger, J.D., co-editor of the book Protecting Public Health and the Environment: Implementing the Precautionary Principle.

Other guests are Ted Schettler, M.D., co-author of books on environmental impacts on reproductive health and child development, and Nancy Myers, M.A., author of the forthcoming book Precautionary Tools for Reshaping Environmental Policy.

The workshop is part of HEC’s annual meeting and also counts for continuing education credits for physicians. Call Tricia O’Neil at HEC at 317-685-8800 to register by phone. Visit www.hecweb.org for more details.

What: Precautionary Principle workshop When: Nov. 6; 11 a.m. Where: St. Luke’s Methodist Church, 100 W. 86th St.

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