According to the European Commission, the « The « precautionary principle » is an approach to risk management that states that if a policy or action poses a potential risk to the public or the environment and there is no scientific consensus on the issue, it should not be pursued. »(1).
Justified for reasons of public health or environmental protection, this principle, introduced since the Maastricht Treaty in 1992, is a key provision of the European Treaties. In particular, it has made it possible to ban hormone-treated beef and genetically modified organisms (GMOs) on the continent, without irrefutable scientific proof of any danger. A noble principle that quickly fell by the wayside. Across the Atlantic, it is considered a « trade barrier, » so that new generation trade agreements — for example, the EU-Mercosur Free Trade Agreement, CETA — make it virtually « illegal. One of the levers is the insertion of a « regulatory cooperation mechanism ». Under this innocent name, the States have knowingly allowed the wolf to enter the sheepfold. For it amounts to a de facto change in the order of precedence in the legislative process. By allowing the private sector in partner countries to interfere upstream in the preparation, evaluation and implementation of regulations, it undermines the authority of national and European parliaments, which will wait their turn. This is because multinationals are a heavyweight in the economy: about 80% of world trade is linked to their international production networks(2). In the end, it is the average European citizen who will pay the price. For example, legislation on GMOs, chemicals and pesticides, which is considered too restrictive, has been targeted by trade partners.
The « regulatory cooperation mechanism » thus symbolizes the new face of democracy 2.0, that which is exercised within the margins granted by the private sector. It is the key to the weakening of social, environmental and public health standards. Another collateral victim: the « precautionary principle ». This is evidenced, for example, by the European Commission’s desire to weaken GMO legislation by excluding new genomic technologies from the scope of regulation, which would allow seeds derived from these techniques to escape risk assessment, labeling and traceability procedures. An offering to agribusiness companies that want to sneak genetically modified food into our fields and plates. But an arm of honor to the European Court of Justice, whose ruling on July 25, 2018(3) states that European regulations must be applied to these new techniques, otherwise the precautionary principle will be compromised and human health and the environment will be potentially harmed. The alienation of states to private interests. A precautionary principle flouted. The management of the current health crisis provides two glaring examples.
GREEN LIGHT FOR 5G
5G is the catalyst for the digital economy and the deployment of artificial intelligence. Despite numerous calls from scientists on all sides to increase the number of studies on its impact on health and the environment, the European Commission is methodically pursuing its action plan: positioning Europe at the forefront of 6G networks(4) ! What do we know about the impact of 5G on Life? This is a crucial issue since the EU aims to be the international standard-bearer for climate and biodiversity. No matter what. It does not matter to the European Commission if there are gaps in the scientific data. Forget the green oath of its president, Ursula Von Der Leyen, « do no harm », even though it is a key principle of the « Green Pact for Europe ».(5). 5G is non-negotiable. Realpolitik is the engine of its economic strategy.
As for the Member States, they have filed the « potential risks of 5G in the drawer of the » fake news » by decreeing, during the EU Council of Ministers of June 9, 2020 « thatthat it is important to combat the spread of misinformation about 5G networks, especially in light of false claims that these networks pose a health threat or are linked to COVID-19 « (6). This is because the geostrategic positioning of the EU on the world stage is not a joke. In the ongoing fourth industrial revolution, China has won the first round. The EU intends to make up for this delay. The management of the sanitary crisis, with confinement, teleworking, e‑education, etc… has miraculously allowed to remove the obstacles to the generalization of digital technology in all the spheres of our life. At the same time, the authorization of 5G passed like a letter in the post with, at the controls, two green ministers, the Minister of Telecoms Petra De Sutter (Groen) who obviously does not want to lose any more time (to avoid the delay on our European neighbors)(7)and the Brussels Minister of Health and Environment Alain Maron (Ecolo).
COVID-19 VACCINES: FULL SPEED AHEAD!
Reflecting the dangers of a poorly controlled scientific and technical evolution, the « precautionary principle » should be an integral part of public authorities’ management of the current health crisis. However, they have durably flouted it.
Act 1. You can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs
Upstream, in order to accelerate the production of vaccines, the political authorities have relaxed the rules, blasting away some of the safeguards in Regulation 2020/1043 on the conduct of clinical trials. Revised under an emergency procedure, without the possibility of amendments and debate by the European Parliament, it allows producers of vaccines and anti-covid treatments containing GMOs to dispense with the need to produce an environmental impact and biosafety study(8) before the start of clinical trials. An irresponsible approach in terms of health and environment. But the emergency is invoked to ignore the usual precautions. We must act. And quickly! And then, » You can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs « . The governments in Belgium, right and left wing parties alike, are leading their vaccine crusade. They tell us, in unison, that vaccines are safe and effective; that despite « unfortunate accidents », the « benefit/risk » balance is clearly in favor of mass vaccination. Vaccination invitations, without appointment, in schools, shopping malls, etc…, abound. This is the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves. In their vaccine fervor, the socialists stand out from the pack. Vaccination has become their mantra. With them, the safeguards are shattered. As proof, the socialist minister Frank Vandenbroucke is preparing a modification of the law to allow pharmacists to administer vaccines, ignoring, as the Belgian Association of Medical Unions (Absym) reminds us, that » Vaccination is a medical procedure that involves risks of side effects, contraindications and complications, requiring the presence of a physician capable of making a rapid diagnosis and treating the patient .(9). It doesn’t matter to him, the third dose of vaccine to be imposed on the whole population is in the starting blocks. And as the Walloon Minister of Health, Christie Morreale (PS), insists: » We must continue to vaccinate, again and again .(10).
Act 2. Nipping the opposition in the bud
In the financial sector, portfolio risk is reduced by diversifying investments. This is not the way the current governments are managing the health crisis. Massive neglect of public investment in prevention, natural immunity enhancement and early treatment is consistent with the goal of making vaccination a must. A narrative that cannot suffer any criticism. But the virus continues to circulate, even in ultra-vaccinated countries such as Israel, Iceland or Ireland. Whose fault is it? The non-vaccinated! For Prime Minister Alexander De Croo and Walloon Minister-President Elio Di Rupo, there is no doubt. His profile: he is dangerous and uncivil. A reminder.
On September 18, Alexander De Croo said: » This epidemic becomes an epidemic of the unvaccinated. We cannot accept that people make the choice to put others in danger. It is those who have not been vaccinated who are responsible for the extension of certain restrictions. » […]. This situation « we cannot accept as a society », while the vaccines against the coronavirus are « safe, free and available everywhere »(11) « . The next day, Elio Di Rupo added another layer, calling on Walloons who have not yet been vaccinated to » examine their conscience ». The non-vaccinated are ostracized, a process orchestrated by the public authorities that is as dangerous as it is unfair. Dangerous first of all, because it blows on the embers of the division of the population, by breaking the channels of discussion between the two « camps ». Unfair, because it evacuates from the debates a major issue. The risk that new variants of SARS-CoV‑2 could develop in animal reservoirs and potentially be reintroduced into the human population, against which current vaccines would be ineffective(12). As the saying goes, it’s » The elephant in the room » that everyone pretends not to see.
Act 3. All eggs in one basket
The decay of collective common sense is to « put all the eggs in the same basket ». An option clearly assumed by the public authorities. The Corona Commissioner’s Office notice to the government » to individuals who cannot be vaccinated against COVID-19 due to allergy or severe side effects after a first vaccination » is symptomatic of vaccine absolutism(13). » In exceptional situations, some people cannot be vaccinated against Covid19 for strict medical reasons […]. Only if an allergy to PEG or polysorbate is known and proven, or if a serious side effect has occurred after the first vaccination, is that person considered unsafe to vaccinate (even in a hospital setting)(14) « .
To avoid any loopholes in the vaccination, the procedure is ultra-centralized. A general practitioner or specialist who follows a patient’s file is excluded from the procedure. Only a referral physician/allergist from a government-approved list can decide whether or not vaccination is appropriate. In the event that the latter is not recommended, free PCR tests will be available to the patient at will. But » as soon as vaccines against Covid-19 that no longer contain PEG or polysorbate are available on the market, vaccination of people allergic to these substances will be possible . » Phew! We are reassured! The way to a cure is the vaccine! Are you afraid of it? Are you concerned about cardiovascular side effects because of your personal medical history or family history? Understand: the only recognized medical contraindication is exclusively the allergy to the product inoculated by the vaccine. Period. The patient’s allergic or inflammatory background does not matter, nor does his or her cardiovascular vulnerability. Are you afraid of the lack of hindsight, of the potential undesirable effects, even irreversible, in the medium or long term, especially for your children? It’s all nonsense! The only legitimate fear recognized by the government is that of the virus and death. It is the ferment of « voluntary servitude », of the citizen’s consent to liberticidal measures, and is even encouraged. On the other hand, fear of the vaccine is forbidden !
In this logic, the government is waging war on a minority of non-vaccinated citizens. Guilty of the circulation of the virus, the gravedigger of the economic recovery and of a brighter tomorrow, it is the black sheep to be isolated. This justifies, in their eyes, the banning of non-injected people from hospitals, theaters, cinemas, restaurants, sports halls, etc… The challenge: to make them bite the dust, to rot their lives, so as to force them to « repent ». Deliverance? To accept, out of sheer exhaustion, the injection in order to regain freedom temporarily. Such is the stake of the « sanitary » pass, whose corollary is the quarantine of the critical word.
Act 4: A precautionary principle put through the mill
« Vaccination resistance: an infamous label applied by the De Croo government, which marks a divide between « good » and « bad » citizens. However, many people who have been duly vaccinated against a series of childhood diseases do not recognize themselves in the « anti/pro-vax » divide. This is to deny that there is a major difference between these new vaccine technologies and the traditional ones: the respect of safeguards and steps prior to market authorization. The first ones are still in experimental phase (until 2022 or 2023 depending on the brand), and are authorized on a provisional basis. The latter have methodically followed the successive steps prior to their marketing, the authorization of which goes back decades.
Insofar as the medium- and long-term side effects of these new technologies are unknown, and the government’s choices involve the entire population, we have the right to expect the political authorities to temper their vaccination strategy by applying the « precautionary principle ».
At this time, 86% of adults are fully vaccinated(15). Is it not in the public interest to be prudent, at least to preserve the young — the next generation! ‑of mass vaccination? Knowing that it is essential to have a pharmacovigilance(16) In order to certify the efficacy and safety of vaccines in the medium and long term, why does the government insist, in its vaccine rage, on eliminating the existence of a non-vaccinated « control group »? Why doesn’t it follow the protocols of clinical trials, knowing that without a « control group », it will be all the more hazardous to establish a possible causality between the side effects and the vaccines? In short, is it not in the collective interest to refine the scientific studies, by tolerating a « non-vaccinated » minority, while respecting the « precautionary principle »? Obviously, this one is not on the radar screen of the political authorities. Nothing can sway them from their vaccine faith. By introducing the health pass (the » Covid Safe Ticket »), they have taken it to the next level: making vaccination (indirectly) compulsory for everyone.
» We have to force the horse to drink « , said the socialist Rudi Vervoort, Minister-President of the Brussels Region. The « young colts », in love with freedom, are singularly in his line of vision. Sports and recreational activities are essential to their physical and mental health. The CSE confiscates them for the unvaccinated. A question of bringing them into line. A perfidious « training » that works like a charm, and that delights the socialist Christine Morreale: » Since the announcement of the Covid Safe Ticket, four times more people are registering for the vaccination « . And to add, without laughing: » CSE means even greater adherence to immunization. And this is positive « . And to conclude » Mandatory vaccination should not be taboo « .(17). However, the CSE has serious advantages over the legal route.
A SHORT GUIDE TO MACHIAVELLIANISM IN THE COVID ERA
Because the Covid-19 vaccines were developed in an « exceptionally short » time frame, the advance purchase agreements negotiated between the European Commission and the major pharmaceutical companies include clauses exempting them from financial liability for adverse vaccine events. Which ones? Difficult to say precisely. Because the rule in force is the opacity of vaccine contracts(18). One thing is certain though. Their framework is the « privatization of gains/collectivization of losses ». On the one hand, pharmaceutical companies are granted certain clauses of irresponsibility on the side effects of vaccines, which are transferred to the States in this case. The massive public money invested in the production of vaccines generates even greater profits for pharmaceutical companies, as no counterpart has been demanded in terms of technology transfer to facilitate production in third countries. On the other hand, states are wary of directly mandating vaccination. As long as it remains voluntary, the candidate for the vaccine assumes the risk.
The forced march of vaccination goes through the CST. At a time when society is making the fight against discrimination a strategic priority, embodied among other things in LGBTQI+ rights, it is striking to see the general apathy in the face of the creation of a second-class citizen status, « the non-vaccinated », stripped one by one of their fundamental rights, including the right to feed themselves, since access to work is conditional on the possession of a QR code, and whose « crime » is to have refused an injection that is not compulsory on a strictly legal level.
More generally, when De Croo and Di Rupo reproach the non-vaccinated for » their irresponsibility and selfish use of their freedom (19)they display de facto their total contempt for the « precautionary principle », in terms of political action; their contempt for the ancestral wisdom that advocates caution in the face of technological choices that could lead to serious health consequences in a more distant horizon; finally, their contempt for the rules of ethics, by sacrificing fundamental rights on the altar of sanitary hygienism. Where are the democrats from all sides to be moved by this?
- https://eur-lex.europa.eu/summary/glossary/precautionary_principle. html?locale=fr
- https://unctad.org/system/files/official-document/osg2020d1_en.pdf, p. 72.
- Communication de la Commission, « Une nouvelle stratégie industrielle pour l’Europe », 10 mars 2020.
- Communication de la Commission, « Pacte vert pour l’Europe », 11 Décembre 2019.
- Conclusions du Conseil du 9 juin 2020 (9 juin 2020), « Façonner l’avenir numérique de l’Europe ».
- « La 5G dans la dernière ligne droite », in La Libre Belgique, 22 octobre 2021, p. 26.
- La biosécurité permet d’appréhender les risques liés aux biotechnologies.
- La Libre Belgique, 23 — 24 Octobre 21, p. 6.
- Idem, p. 4.
- De nombreux cas d’animaux contaminés par l’Homme ont été recensés : chat, chien, hamster, vison, furet, etc… Si aujourd’hui, les animaux sauvages et domestiques ne jouent aucun rôle dans l’épidémie de Covid- 19, l’agence française Anses (Agence Nationale Sécurité Sanitaire Alimentaire Nationale) estime que « le risque de constitution d’un réservoir animal existe ». https:// www.futura-sciences.com/sante/actualites/coronavirus-contamination- inversee-cette-menace-pourrait-relancer-epidemie-covid-19–92375/
- https://d34j62pglfm3rr.cloudfront.net/downloads/Leidraad+voor+personen +die+zich+niet+kunnen+laten+vaccineren+tegen+Covid.docx-FR.pdf
- Il est donc possible de se faire vacciner à l’hôpital. Au service de réanimation, la réaction anaphylactique pourra directement être prise en charge.
- Sources : Sciensano (chiffres du 3 nov. 2021).
- Système de surveillance des effets secondaires des médicaments.
- La Libre Belgique, 20 octobre 2021, p. 8.
- Sous motif de secret industriel, la Commission européenne refuse de divulguer des informations essentielles comme, notamment, le régime de responsabilité juridique en cas d’effets secondaires et le prix des vaccins.
- La Libre Belgique, 30 septembre 2021, p. 38.