Keep “the precautionary principle” forefront in your mind.Curiously, the film “Living Downstream” is all about the precautionary principle without ever using the term.
If there’s a reasonable suspicion that a policy or action is causing harm, those who may be causing the harm must prove it is not harmful. The burden is not for potential victims to prove it is harmful.
What does Sandra Steingraber, the central focus of “Living Downstream” say?This biologist specializes in environmental health.In particular, she focuses on the killer of hundreds of thousands of North Americans every year.She wants people to look upstream from the money and the effort and the worry spent on people who have cancer.She wants people to apply themselves to preventing what causes cancer.
Science has produced enough suspicion about Atrazine, for instance, that the European Union has banned this pesticide.In the United States, the official declaration is that there is insufficient proof about its dangerous effects.
The precautionary principle directs us to avoid and actively investigate the risks when frogs change from males to reproducing females and when rats exhibit poorly developed reproductive systems. It directs us to seek correlation between widespread intensive use of pesticides and the rise in breast cancer and other cancers.
As a scientist, writer, activist and cancer survivor, Steingraber is likened to Rachel Carson, author of “Silent Spring.”Carson’s devotion resulted in banning DDT and helped kindle an era of environmental awareness.
One huge challenge in raising concern for the environment and advocating for a better one is how depressing the call to action often sounds.In Steingraber’s voice is a sound of calm and reason.In “Living Downstream,” she’s almost hypnotic in the way she communicates well placed concern and knowledge seeding action.