|David Zaruk waxes poetic on the PP.|
The PP is a guideline for decision making when faced with scientific uncertainty. It has been described as having "four central components: taking preventive action in the face of uncertainty; shifting the burden of proof to the proponents of an activity; exploring a wide range of alternatives to possibly harmful actions; and increasing public participation in decision making."
The Wingspread Statement defines the principle: "When an activity raises threats of harm to human health or the environment, precautionary measures should be taken even if some cause and effect relationships are not fully established scientifically."
And yet, popular Skeptic bloggers and SciMoms Alison Bernstein aka Mommy PhD and Kavin Senapathy define the PP as something entirely different in the Forbes article, "How Marketers Use Fear Of Chemicals For Profit: 3 Easy Steps"
Another popular Skeptic blogger, Michael Simpson aka Skeptical Raptor lists the PP under logical fallacies on his website.
In addition to creating their own definitions of the PP, another popular tactic is proposing absurd strawman applications of the principle in order to undermine it.
shift the burden of proof to the public to prove unequivocally that their products are toxic as they continue to pump them out into the air and water only to find decades later that long term harm has occurred.