Norah MacKendrick, 2018, Better safe than sorry. How consumers navigate exposure to everyday toxics
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The topic dealt within the book is timely and of great concern to post-modern consumers: how do we make our decisions when buying something that can affect our health? It is about what the author calls ‘precautionary consumption’, something that is correctly differentiated from precautionary principle. To clarify, discuss, articulate, explore and investigate this difference is the great value of this book. It shows how the failure to apply the precautionary principle in the USA leads inexorably individual consumers alone to navigate complicate decisions about which products to buy, whilst widespread consumers’ concern and uncertainty open spaces to be capitalised by the market actors on the promise of health and safety.
In the failure of an effective public regulation, collective risks need to be addressed at the individual level. Decisions about buying food and consumers’ products, which seem small and simple, become very complex. It is a matter of deciphering infinite warnings and...