Precaution and participatory integrated assessment of GM crops in Spain

J. David Tàbara

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3 Citations (Scopus)


Qualitative Participatory Integrated Assessment (PIA) has been carried out to unveil the different accounts and uses of the precautionary principle and of the precautionary approach in the management of Bt commercial crops in Spain. In particular, two main interpretations have been identified: a case by case precaution (or caution) and a systemic precaution. Three scenarios on the plausible causes and consequences of commercial GM crops policy futures and the role of the precautionary principle and of precaution in them were also developed. Further research found that these scenarios could be linked to two broader worldviews about different plausible societies, models of agriculture, and of the role of ethics in the management of science and technology. It is argued that such worldviews, which go beyond the bounded rationality of scientific expertise on commercial GM crops, are used by policy makers in Spain, rather than or in conjunction with expert assessments, to make complex decisions in situations of large uncertainties and high stakes. © IWA Publishing 2005.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)107-113
JournalWater Science and Technology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 7 Dec 2005


  • GM crops
  • Integrated assessment
  • Precaution
  • Spain
  • Worldviews


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