In a letter of support for the signatories of the MRVS plea to Margaret Beckett, members of the European Parliament's Environment and Agriculture committees, Robert Sturdy and Roger Helmer have called on government to "adopt the precautionary principle" on bovine Tb.
"The position of government is unsustainable. On health and environmental issues, the government and the European parliament rely on the precautionary principle. That is where risk is suspected, but cannot yet be proved or quantified, they take pre-emptive action to eliminate the possibility of harm"
"If that principle had been applied to bovine TB, badger culls would have been undertaken years ago. The disease would now be controlled or eliminated, and fewer badgers would have been culled than will now be necessary".
Mr. Sturdy and Mr. Helmer draw a comparison between the relationship 20 years ago between smoking and lung cancer, and currently bovine Tb and the reservoir of the disease in badgers:
"The evidence of a link is overwhelming. But it is possible - just about - to argue that it is not 100 percent proved. Government has turned the 'precautionary principle' on its head, and instead of responding to a clearly perceived risk, it has refused to act until it has 'scientific proof' of a link."
They describe the protests from the badger lobby as " looking increasingly threadbare and desperate."
And conclude "If the same logic had been applied to smoking, we should have seen many more deaths from lung cancer. And if government sticks to its position, we shall see hugely more damage to the Britsh dairy industry".
In epidemiological circles the gold standard for 'causality' (or the perception of risk) is "Evans Postulates". Many of the Parliamentary questions (archived on this site) were directed to ascertain the extent to which 'Evans Postulates' had already been fulfilled. In the questioner's opinion, "Answers indicate that the key postulates are satisfied and provide powerful evidence of a causal link".