The precautionary principle is a legal principle concerned with the process of how decisions are made. In implementing and interpreting it regard must be had to the surrounding legal culture and in particular the principles of good administration in operation. Highlighting those principles emphasises that within a particular jurisdiction there is often very little agreement over their nature. Within the European Union contradictory principles are the product of: assumptions about risk problem-solving, the ambiguous nature of European administration, a concern with accountability in the face of recent food controversies, and the impact of international trade rules. These contradictory principles present a number of challenges for implementing the precautionary principle.

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