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A Consumers Bill of Rights Preamble

All persons have a right to an environment which is sufficiently free of controllable contaminants or pollutants to support their health, growth and well-being. Human activities to assure these ends increasingly rely on technical and chemical innovations to enhance the manufacture and production of products and agricultural commodities. 

While many of these innovations are deemed necessary for people to achieve comfort, enhanced productivity or increased goods and products, most carry with them high costs in terms of secondary toxic effects and resultant risks to health. 

A case in point is the mass contamination of aquifers and water service systems in the United States with chlorinated solvents used to assist the manufacture of metal and machinery parts in the aircraft, industrial, and commercial sectors throughout the last century.


Statement of Concern:

As a condition for well-being, people must be protected from all exposures to toxic substances capable of impairing human potential. Because of the intrinsic value of each person, such protections should be afforded preferentially to children, irrespective of the economic benefits afforded to adults from their use.

 During growth and development, even minor body burdens of contaminants like methyl mercury, dioxin, and PCB's can interfere with normal maturation and developmental processes. Therefore, to ensure the well-being of future generations, potentially toxic exposures of all peoples to hazardous substances must be eliminated or strictly limited. To this end, we offer the following declaration:

Whereas, The birthright of realizing maximal human potential requires a toxic-free environment both within and outside the womb; and Human development is imperiled by trace levels of toxic substances and metals; and Certain antibiotics interfere with attainment of full mental and physical capacity; and Toxic substances can compromise health, well-being and normal neurological functioning; and Exposures to many toxicants are avoidable; and Toxic substances can often be replaced with less potentially harmful alternatives; and The principles of voluntarism and informed consent pervade human law and society; and That ethical imperatives require redress of past toxic harms and protection from new ones. 

Therefore, be it resolved that Human beings deserve the maximal protection under the law from non-consensual exposure to toxic substances; All incipient persons shall be maximally protected from potentially harmful exposures during embryonic development and post-natal life; Production, manufacture and transport of non-essential toxic substances shall be minimized to reduce harm; Past exposures to toxic substances shall be adjudicated and rectified to minimize damage the health and well-being; Where the introduction of a new toxicant or expanded use of one already in commerce threaten the risk of irreversible or serious damage to health or the environment, the existence of scientific uncertainty about safety shall be used to limit such introduction or use; Non-consensual exposure to toxic substances shall be strictly limited.

Secondary consequences of the use of intrinsically toxic substances shall remain the responsibility of the original manufacturer or purveyor, in keeping with the principle of strict liability; No substance shall be introduced into commerce without a full evaluation of its short- and long-term effects, including those on neurological and immunological development; Labeling, disclosure and explanation of testing, ingredients or components with potential toxicity in any commercial commodity shall be conveyed voluntarily and fully without regard to proprietary privileges.

  

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