European Environment Agency (EEA) publicerade den 23 januari 2013 den andra volymen om lärdomar av tidiga varningar om hälsorisker. Hela volymen är på över 700 sidor och finns i första hand i web-version men kommer även att utges i tryckt format. En rad frågor tas upp av de olika författarna, t.ex. kollapsen av bisamhällen, DDT, nanoteknologi och mobiltelefoner.
I sammanfattningen ges tänkvärda rekommendationer:
- Science should acknowledge the complexity of biological and environmental systems, particularly where there may be multiple causes of many different effects, the report says. It is increasingly difficult to isolate a single agent and prove beyond doubt that it causes harm. A more holistic view taking many different disciplines into account would also improve the understanding and prevention of potential hazards.
- Policy makers should respond to early warnings more rapidly, the report says, particularly in cases of large scale emerging technologies. It proposes that those causing any future harm should pay for the damage.
- Risk assessment can also be improved, the report says, by embracing uncertainty more broadly and acknowledging what is not known. For example, ‘No evidence of harm’ has often been often misinterpreted to mean ‘evidence of no harm’ when the relevant research was not available.
- The report calls for new forms of governance involving citizens in choices about innovation pathways and risk analysis. This would help to reduce exposure to hazards and encourage innovations with broader societal benefits. Greater interaction between business, governments and citizens could foster more robust and diverse innovations at less cost to health and the environment.
I samband med publiceringen gavs en presskonferens som kan ses här.