The 223rd General Assembly (2018) of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) approved the affirmation and recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Social Witness Policy regarding the Precautionary Principle.
Simply put this is a principle that expresses that the introduction of a new product or process whose ultimate effects are disputed or unknown should be resisted.
The overture explains that “the precautionary principle does not entail halting technological progress, but affirms the priority of the integrity of creation and the protection of the human and other lives within it. It shifts the burden of proof toward those whose actions could harm people or destabilize or irreversibly disrupt natural patterns and processes.”
This overture encourages congregations and individuals to pursue renewable energy use and such specific lifestyle practices as:
1. Choosing, when possible, organic products, given still unknown cumulative and interactive effects of chemicals in pesticides, fertilizers, and growth hormones on wildlife and humans.
2. Phase out the use of plastic bottles, packaging (including phthalates added for durability), and other plastic goods not easily recyclable, thus reducing waste and preserving petroleum resources for higher value uses.
3. Limit and reduce exposure to CRT (cathode ray tube) and other screens, as these may affect the emotions and sleep capacity of users.
Click here for the full text of the Precautionary Principle overture.