A science committee of the British House of Lords has found that nanomaterials are already appearing in numerous products, among them salad dressings and sauces. Jaydee Hanson, policy analyst for the Center for Food Safety, says that they’re also being added to ice cream to make it “look richer and better textured.” Getty Images
Hundreds of peer-reviewed studies have shown that nanoparticles pose potential risks to human health ~ more specifically, that when ingested can cause DNA damage that can prefigure cancer and heart and brain disease.
At the end there is an extensive list of links to learn more about this topic.
OUT OF THE LABS AND
STRAIGHT INTO OUR BELLIES?
by Andrew Schneider
For centuries, it was the cook and the heat of the fire that cajoled taste, texture, flavor and aroma from the pot. Today, that culinary voodoo is being crafted by white-coated scientists toiling in pristine labs, rearranging atoms into chemical particles never before seen.
At last year’s Institute of Food Technologists international conference, nanotechnology was the topic that generated the most buzz among the 14,000 food-scientists, chefs and manufacturers crammed into an Anaheim, Calif., hall.
Though it’s a word that has probably never been printed on any menu, and probably never will, there was so much interest in the potential uses of nanotechnology for food that a separate daylong session focused just on that subject was packed to overflowing.
In one corner of the convention center, a chemist, a flavorist and two food-marketing specialists clustered around a large chart of the Periodic Table of Elements (think back to high school science class). The food chemist, from China, ran her hands over the chart, pausing at different chemicals just long enough to say how a nano-ized version of each would improve existing flavors or create new ones.
One of the marketing guys questioned what would happen if the consumer found out.
The flavorist asked whether the Food and Drug Administration would even allow nanoingredients.
Posed a variation of the latter question, Dr. Jesse Goodman, the agency’s chief scientist and deputy commissioner for science and public health, gave a revealing answer. He said he wasn’t involved enough with how the FDA was handling nanomaterials in food to discuss that issue. And the agency wouldn’t provide anyone else to talk about it.
This despite the fact that
hundreds of peer-reviewed studies
have shown that nanoparticles
pose potential risks to human health ~
and, more specifically, that when ingested
can cause DNA damage that can
prefigure cancer and heart and brain disease.
Nestles uses nanomaterials in their products.
Despite Denials, Nano-Food Is Here
Officially, the FDA says there aren’t any nano-containing food products currently sold in the U.S. Nestles uses nanomaterials in their products.
Not true, say some of the agency’s own safety experts, pointing to scientific studies published in food science journals, reports from foreign safety agencies and discussions in gatherings like the Institute of Food Technologists conference.
In fact, the arrival of nanomaterial onto the food scene is already causing some big-chain safety managers to demand greater scrutiny of what they’re being offered, especially with imported food and beverages.
At a conference in Seattle last year hosted by leading food safety attorney Bill Marler, presenters raised the issue of how hard it is for large supermarket companies to know precisely what they are purchasing, especially with nanomaterials, because of the volume and variety they deal in.
Craig Wilson, assistant vice president for safety for Costco, says his chain does not test for nanomaterial in the food products it is offered by manufacturers. But, he adds, Costco is looking
“far more carefully at everything we buy. … We have to rely on the accuracy of the labels and the integrity of our vendors. Our buyers know that if they find nanomaterial or anything else they might consider unsafe, the vendors either remove it, or we don’t buy it.”
Another government scientist says nanoparticles can be found today in produce sections in some large grocery chains and vegetable wholesalers. This scientist, a researcher with the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service, was part of a group that examined Central and South American farms and packers that ship fruits and vegetables into the U.S. and Canada.
According to the USDA researcher ~ who asked that his name not be used because he’s not authorized to speak for the agency ~ apples, pears, peppers, cucumbers and other fruit and vegetables are being coated with a thin, wax-like nanocoating to extend shelf-life. The edible nanomaterial skin will also protect the color and flavor of the fruit longer.
“We found no indication that the nanocoating, which is manufactured in Asia, has ever been tested for health effects,” said the researcher.
Some foreign governments, apparently more worried about the influx of nano-related products to their grocery shelves, are gathering their own research. In January, a science committee of the British House of Lords issued a lengthy study on nanotechnology and food.
Scores of scientific groups and consumer activists and even several international food manufactures told the committee investigators that engineered particles were already being sold in salad dressings; sauces; diet beverages; and boxed cake, muffin and pancakes mixes, to which they’re added to ensure easy pouring.
Other researchers responding to the committee’s request for information talked about hundreds more items that could be in stores by year’s end.
For example, a team in Munich has used nano-nonstick coatings to end the worldwide frustration of having to endlessly shake an upturned mustard or ketchup bottle to get at the last bit clinging to the bottom.
Another person told the investigators that Nestlé and Unilever have about completed developing a nano-emulsion-based ice cream that has a lower fat content but retains its texture and flavor.
Women on average eat 4-7 pounds of lipstick over a lifetime. This is nanolipstick.
The Ultimate Secret Ingredient
Nearly 20 of the world’s largest food manufacturers ~ among them Nestlé, as well as Hershey, Cargill, Campbell Soup, Sara Lee, and H.J. Heinz ~ have their own in-house nano-labs, or have contracted with major universities to do nano-related food product development. But they are not eager to broadcast those efforts.
Kraft was the first major food company to hoist the banner of nanotechnology. Spokesman Richard Buino, however, now says that while “we have sponsored nanotech research at various universities and research institutions in the past,” Kraft has no labs focusing on it today.
The stance is in stark contrast to the one Kraft struck in late 2000, when it loudly and repeatedly proclaimed that it had formed the Nanotek Consortium with engineers, molecular chemists and physicists from 15 universities in the U.S. and abroad. The mission of the team was to show how nanotechnology would completely revolutionize the food manufacturing industry, or so said its then-director, Kraft research chemist Manuel Marquez.
But by the end of 2004, the much-touted operation seemed to vanish. All mentions of Nanotek Consortium disappeared from Kraft’s news releases and corporate reports.
“We have not nor are we currently using nanotechnology in our products or packaging,” Buino added in another e-mail.
Industry Tactics Thwart Risk Awareness
The British government investigation into nanofood strongly criticized the U.K.’s food industry for “failing to be transparent about its research into the uses of nanotechnologies and nanomaterials.” On this side of the Atlantic, corporate secrecy isn’t a problem, as some FDA officials tell it.
Investigators on Capitol Hill say the FDA’s congressional liaisons have repeatedly assured them ~ from George W. Bush’s administration through President Barack Obama’s first year ~ that the big U.S. food companies have been upfront and open about their plans and progress in using nanomaterial in food.
But FDA and USDA food safety specialists interviewed over the past three months stressed that based on past performance, industry cannot be relied on to voluntarily advance safety efforts.
These government scientists, who are actively attempting to evaluate the risk of introducing nanotechnology to food, say that only a handful of corporations are candid about what they’re doing and collaborating with the FDA and USDA to help develop regulations that will both protect the public and permit their products to reach market.
Most companies, the government scientists add, submit little or no information unless forced. Even then, much of the information crucial to evaluating hazards ~ such as the chemicals used and results of company health studies ~ is withheld, with corporate lawyers claiming it constitutes confidential business information.
Both regulators and some industry consultants say the evasiveness from food manufacturers could blow up in their faces. As precedent, they point to what happened in the mid-’90s with genetically modified food, the last major scientific innovation that was, in many cases, force-fed to consumers.
“There was a lack of transparency on what companies were doing. So promoting genetically modified foods was perceived by some of the public as being just profit-driven,” says Professor Rickey Yada of the Department of Food Science at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada.
“In retrospect, food manufacturers should have highlighted the benefits that the technology could bring as well as discussing the potential concerns.”
Bread makers are spraying nanomaterials on their loaves “to make them shinier and help them keep microbe-free longer.”
Eating Nanomaterials Could Increase Underlying Risks
The House of Lords’ study identified “severe shortfalls” in research into the dangers of nanotechnology in food. Its authors called for funding studies that address the behavior of nanomaterials within the digestive system. Similar recommendations are being made in the U.S., where the majority of research on nanomaterial focuses on it entering the body via inhalation and absorption.
The food industry is very competitive, with thin profit margins. And safety evaluations are very expensive, notes Bernadene Magnuson, senior scientific and regulatory consultant with risk-assessment firm Cantox Health Sciences International. “You need to be pretty sure you’ve got something that’s likely to benefit you and your product in some way before you’re going to start launching into safety evaluations,” she explains. Magnuson believes that additional studies must be done on chronic exposure to and ingestion of nanomaterials.
One of the few ingestion studies recently completed was a two-year-long examination of nano-titanium dioxide at UCLA, which showed that the compound caused DNA and chromosome damage after lab animals drank large quantities of the particles in their water.
It is widely known that nano-titanium dioxide is used as filler in hundreds of medicines and cosmetics and as a blocking agent in sunscreens. But Jaydee Hanson, policy analyst for the Center for Food Safety, worries that the danger is greater “when the nano-titanium dioxide is used in food.”
Ice cream companies, Hanson says, are using nanomaterials to make their products “look richer and better textured.” Bread makers are spraying nanomaterials on their loaves “to make them shinier and help them keep microbe-free longer.”
While AOL News was unable to identify a company pursuing the latter practice, it did find Sono-Tek of Milton, N.Y., which uses nanotechnology in its industrial sprayers. “One new application for us is spraying nanomaterial suspensions onto biodegradable plastic food wrapping materials to preserve the freshness of food products,” says Christopher Coccio, chairman and CEO. He said the development of this nano-wrap was partially funded by New York State’s Energy Research and Development Authority.
“This is happening,” Hanson says. He calls on the FDA to “immediately seek a ban on any products that contain these nanoparticles, especially those in products that are likely to be ingested by children.”
“The UCLA study means we need to research the health effects of these products before people get sick, not after,” Hanson says.
There is nothing to mandate that such safety research take place.
The FDA’s Blind Spot
The FDA includes titanium dioxide among the food additives it classifies under the designation “generally recognized as safe,” or GRAS. New additives with that label can bypass extensive and costly health testing that is otherwise required of items bound for grocery shelves.
A report issued last month by the Government Accountability Office denounced the enormous loophole that the FDA has permitted through the GRAS classification. And the GAO investigators also echoed the concerns of consumer and food safety activists who argue that giving nanomaterials the GRAS free pass is perilous.
Food safety agencies in Canada and the European Union require all ingredients that incorporate engineered nanomaterials to be submitted to regulators before they can be put on the market, the GAO noted. No so with the FDA.
“Because GRAS notification is voluntary and companies are not required to identify nanomaterials in their GRAS substances, FDA has no way of knowing the full extent to which engineered nanomaterials have entered the U.S. food supply,” the GAO told Congress.
Amid that uncertainty, calls for safety analysis are growing.
“Testing must always be done,” says food regulatory consultant George Burdock, a toxicologist and the head of the Burdock Group. “Because if it’s nanosized, its chemical properties will most assuredly be different and so might the biological impact.”
Will Consumers Swallow What Science Serves Up Next?
Interviews with more than a dozen food scientists revealed strikingly similar predictions on how the food industry will employ nanoscale technology. They say firms are creating nanostructures to enhance flavor, shelf life and appearance. They even foresee using encapsulated or engineered nanoscale particles to create foods from scratch.
Experts agreed that the first widespread use of nanotechnology to hit the U.S. food market would be nanoscale packing materials and nanosensors for food safety, bacteria detection and traceability.
While acknowledging that many more nano-related food products are on the way, Magnuson, the industry risk consultant, says the greatest degree of research right now is directed at food safety and quality. “Using nanotechnology to improve the sensitivity and speed of detection of food-borne pathogens in the food itself or in the supply chain or in the processing equipment could be lifesaving,” she says.
For example, researchers at Clemson University, according to USDA, have used nanoparticles to identify campylobacter, a sometimes-lethal food-borne pathogen, in poultry intestinal tracts prior to processing.
At the University of Massachusetts Amherst, food scientist Julian McClements and his colleagues have developed time-release nanolaminated coatings to add bioactive components to food to enhance delivery of ingredients to help prevent diseases such as cancer, osteoporosis, heart disease and hypertension.
But if the medical benefits of such an application are something to cheer, the prospect of eating them in the first place isn’t viewed as enthusiastically.
Advertising and marketing consultants for food and beverage makers are still apprehensive about a study done two years ago by the German Federal Institute of Risk Assessment, which commissioned pollsters to measure public acceptance of nanomaterials in food. The study showed that only 20 percent of respondents would buy nanotechnology-enhanced food products.
THE ANGRY TOXICOLOGIST ~ This fellow does have a few caustic comments on the topic of nanofoods. A few quotes:
"One is a nanofilm that has anti-microbial properties. Of course, it may also leach into your food. Yum! (Okay, it probably wouldn't taste any different but untested films don't sit that well with me.)"
"As supreme prognosticator, here's what I say is going to happen. Industry will run a small test or two to make sure it's not violently, acutely toxic (I mean, if it kills someone, they can't be a repeat customer!). Then they'll use it, assuming that the regs are sufficiently vague that they can make a good case in court that they didn't have to do anything else. Then, since it's not acutely toxic and it's already on the market, it will stay. As everybody knows, it's easier to ask forgiveness than to ask permission, but it's even better if you never have to do either."
- Controversy surrounds nanotech food supply experiments
21 January 2010 - Examiner.com
- Supermarkets urged to lead debate on nanotechnology in food
20 January 2010 - Nanowerk News
- US organic standards board to ban nanotechnology from organic food
October 2009 - The Organic & Non-GMO Report
- Strong growth forecast for nanotechnology food packaging
25 July 2009 - NanoWerk, USA
- Friends of the Earth Australia gives evidence to UK Nanofood Inquiry
2 June 2009 - Friends of the Earth, Australia
- UK Inquiry hears expert evidence that nanofood risks remain largely unknown
1 June 2009 - Friends of the Earth, Australia
- Starting to explore nanotechnology's impact on major food crops
5 March 2009 - NanoWerk, USA
- A listing of nano-related food and beverage is provided by the NanotechProject in its Nanotechnology Consumer Products Inventory.
- Submission to House of Lords Science and Technology Committee on nanotechnologies and food - The Royal Society, UK, March 2009
- A Hard Pill To Swallow: Barriers to Effective FDA Regulation of Nanotechnology-Based Dietary Supplements - Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies, USA, January 2009
- Risk Governance of Nanotechnology Applications in Food and Cosmetics - International Risk Governance Council, September 2008
- Nanomaterials and safe production - the Austrian Ministry of Health, Family and Youth, Austria, September 2008
- Assuring the Safety of Nanomaterials in Food Packaging - Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies, USA, June 2008
- Out of the laboratory and on to our plates: Nanotechnology in food and agriculture - Friends of the Earth, March 2008
|Untested nanotechnology is being used in more than 100 food products, food packaging and contact materials currently on the shelf, without warning or new FDA testing, according to a report released today by Friends of the Earth. The report found nanomaterials in popular products and packaging including Miller Light beer, Cadbury Chocolate packaging and ToddlerHealth, a nutritional drink powder for infants sold extensively at health food stores including WholeFoods.|
- Health impact of nanotechnologies in food production - RIKILT / RIVM, Netherlands, September 2007
An inventory study on the current use of nanotechnology in food products, and suggestions for prioritizing the research that is needed.
- Nanotechnology – the new threat to food - Friends of the Earth, Australia, May 2007
- Tiny, invisible ingredients - Food Processing, 2006
- Consumers Union testimony on nanoengineered ingredients in food - Presented to the FDA on October 10, 2006
- Nanotechnology in Agriculture and Food - the Woodrow Wilson Center and the University of Minnesota’s Center for Science, Technology, and Public Policy, September 2006
- Nanotechnology in Agriculture and Food- Nanoforum, the European Nanotechnology Gateway, April 2006
- Down on the Farm: The Impact of Nano-scale Technologies on Food and Agriculture - ETC Group, 2004
20 October 2008 - BBC Radio 4, UK
|Researchers are studying whether nano-sized material could purge bacteria from the digestive tracts of poultry. The bacteria doesn't harm chickens and turkeys, but it can make people sick.|
- Clemson researchers develop nanoparticle chicken feed
21 February 2008 - Clemson University, USA
2 June 2005 - ScienCentralNews, USA
- References on Nanotechnology in Food-related Applications - Food Research Institute, University of Wisconsin–Madison, May 2007
- Draft Resolution on nanotechnology, Call for public debate - The International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers Associations (IUF), March 2007
- An issues landscape for nanotechnology standards: Report of a Workshop - Institute for Food and Agricultural Standards, Michigan State University, March 2007
- Food Nanotechnology - Institute of Food Technologists, Volume 60, No. 11, November 2006
- Nanotechnology: A Brief Literature Review - Food Research Institute, University of Wisconsin–Madison, June 2006
- Getting Your Daily Dose of Nano? Report highlights FDA’s regulatory challenges posed by nanomaterials
14 January 2009 - Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies, USA
- Nano sensors offer rapid detection of Salmonella, claims ARS
6 January 2009 - NutraIngredients, EU
- Use of TiN nanoparticles in PET bottles not toxic, says EFSA
18 December 2008 - Food Production Daily, EU
- 96% Australians want safety testing, 92% support labelling nanofoods and food packaging
22 October 2008 - Friends of the Earth, Australia
- Safety authority urges research into nanotechnology's use in food sector
22 September 2008 - The Irish Times, Ireland
- New film could inhibit bacterial growth on conveyor belts
20 August 2008 - FoodProductionDaily, EU
- Future challenges in the nano food and packaging sector
28 July 2008 - Nanotechnology Now, USA
21 July 2008 - Environmental Expert, EU
- Use of Nanomaterials in Food Packaging Poses Regulatory Challenges
25 June 2008 - Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies, USA
- BFA sets new standard for nanotechnology control in the organic sector
29 May 2008 - Biological Farmers of Australia Australia
- Swiss food retailers demand information on nanotech
23 April 2008 - NutraIngredients, UE
- Food nanotechnology - how the industry is blowing it
16 April 2008 - NanoWerk, USA
- Call for research into effects of consuming nano-sized food
7 April 2008 - Food Manufacture, UK
- A nanotechnology biosensor for Salmonella detection
17 March 2008 - NanoWerk, USA
- More people likely to accept nano than GM, say researchers
14 March 2008 - FoodNavigator, EU
- Nanostructures tested as beta-carotene carriers in beverages
31 January 2008 - France, EU
- Call for Scientific Data on Applications of Nanotechnology and Nanomaterials used in Food and Feed
23 January 2008 - European Food Safety Authority, EU
- Soil Association first organisation in the world to ban nanoparticles
15 January 2008 - Soil Association, UK
8 January 2008 - NanoWerk, USA
- The majority of consumers are against nanoparticles in food
18 December 2007 - Newsfood, Italy
- Think big, think nano, the new area of the food industry
18 December 2007 - Food Navigator, USA
Strong Increase In Nanofood, Molecular Food And Energy From Food Markets In 2007 Worldwide
12 December 2007 - Nanotechnology Now, USA
- 'India aims for household food security'
29 November 2007 - New Mind Press, India
- EU food industry urged to be open about nanotechnology
5 November 2007 - Food Chemical News
- Reliably detecting foodborne pathogens with nanotechnology and encoding/decoding techniques
28 September - NanoWerk, USA
- New nanowire combats E-coli pathogens, says study
3 September - Food Navigator
- Polymer opal films shed light on spoiled foods
24 July 2007 - Food Profuction Daily, UE
- Developing Nanotechnology To Test Food Quality
22 July 2007 - Science Daily, USA
- Nanotechnology used in additive to keep PLA clear
19 July 2007 - Food Navigator, USA
- EU Parliament votes for tougher additives regulation
12 July 2007 - Food Navigator, USA
- Nanotech Packaging Hailed and Assailed
June - Food & Beverage Packaging
- Agriculture and food workers question nanotechnology
4 June 2007 - NanoWerk, USA
- Nanotechnology – the new threat to food
May 2007 - Clean Food Organic, Australia
- Food and nano ... perceptions of benefits are still what matters most
12 May 2007 - NanoPublic, USA
- Former FDA Official Calls for Increased FDA Nanotech Authority
24 April 2007 - Nanotechnology Law Report, USA
- New Worlds: Non-fat Foods Get Nano Punch
11 April 2007 - The Jerusalem Post, Israel
- Old food meets new technologies, leaves food for thought
2 March 2007 - MSU Today, USA
- Nano scale coating process developed for baking sector
28 February 2007 - FoodProductionDaily, USA
- Natural Milk Protein Could Lead to Super Nutritious Foods
27 February 2007 - Nanotech Now, USA
- Are you ready for your nanotechnology engineered wine?
12 February 2007 - NanoWerk, USA
30 January 2007 - NanoWerk, USA
- Intelligent food wrappers with nanotechnology
18 January 2007 - NanoWerk, USA
- Welcome to the world of nano foods
December 2006 - The Observer’s Food Monthly, UK
- Can Nanotechnology Cut Deep-Fried Foods Grease?
19 November 2006 - CBS 5, USA
- Nanotech research holds promise for food industry, say scientists
17 November 2006 - Food Production Daily, France & USA
- Open Letter to the FDA to Stop Corporations from Lacing Foods, Body Care Products, & Supplements with Dangerous Nanoparticles
23 September 2006 - Organic Consumers Association, USA
- Scientists Worry About Potential Risks of Nanotechnology in Food
7 September 2006 - LiveScience.com, USA
- NanoFood: The Choice is Yours
31 July 2006 - Innovation Watch, Canada
- Flavor firm uses nanotechnology for new ingredient solutions
10 July 2006 - Foodproductiondaily, USA
- Scientists urge transparency in nanotech safety testing
12 May - Foodproductiondaily, France
- Report calls for nanotechnology law
19 January 2006 - Foodproductiondaily, France
- Food in the 21st century
August 2005 - Environmental Health Journal
- Safer And Guilt-Free Nano Foods
10 August 2005 - Forbes
- Are You Ready For Nanofood?
20 June 2005 - Roland Piquepaille's Technology Trends
- Companies in the food industry that are using nanotechnology
5 April 2005 - Google Answers
- Hungry for nano: the fruits of nanotechnology could transform the food industry
25 September 2004 - Science News
16 May 2004 - The Observer, UK
- FOOD: Edible Nano is the New Frontier
5 September 2004 - ThomasNet, Industrial Market Trends
More on NSEC Website
Nanotechnology and Ethics
| - News Articles |
- Reports & Articles
- Radio Shows
- Innovation for whom? Innovation for what? The Impact of Ableism
14 December 2009 - Gregor Wolbring, Guest blog on 2020 Science
- Hooked on tech--ten alternative perspectives on technology innovation
10 December 2009 - Andrew Maynard, 2020 Science
5 June 2008 - NanoWerk, USA
Nanotechnology: The Social and Ethical Issues - Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies, USA, January 2009
|The report emphasizes ways in which social and ethical issues intersect with governmental functions and responsibilities, including science and technology policy, as well as research funding, regulation and work on public engagement.|
Understanding the Ethical Implications of Nanotechnology: Highlights of a Limited Inquiry By the President's Council on Bioethics - Council on Bioethics, 2008
How do—and how will—nanotechnologies affect human health and the natural environment? How is nanotechnology in general similar to and different from other types of technology? And as nanotechnologies develop, do they endanger human dignity, and if so, how?
Small is beautiful? Nanotechnology solutions for development problems - The Broker Online, February 2008
Nanotechnology promises revolutionary solutions for all kinds of problems. At this early stage it is possible to outline the applications of nanotech that could contribute to development and poverty reduction, and the dilemmas that might emerge. Whether developing countries will really benefit will depend on science and research policies in both the South and the North.
The Role of Nanotechnologies in Development and Poverty Alleviation: A Matter of Controversy - N.Invernizzi, G.Foladori and D.Maclurcan, November 2007
How can new technologies be leveraged to reduce poverty and inequity in a world that is driven by lucrative interests?
Principles for Nanotech Oversight - ICTA, AFL-CIO, FoE, IUF, ETC Group, Third World Network, Loka Institute, ... July 2007
The adverse impacts of granting patents for fundamental nanomaterials, which may amount to privatizing the building blocks of the natural world, must be considered and addressed. Moreover, the production of nanodevices for manufacturing, military or medical use – including enhancement of human performance –can be expected to pose complex risks as well as social and ethical challenges. Some laboratories are already engineering viruses, yeasts, and bacteria to make nanomaterials.
Gaining a competitive edge: Materials technology can enhance sporting performance, audience enjoyment, and increase athletes’ safety. But is it always fair? - January-February 2007 - Materials Today, USA
Nanotechnologies and the Precautionary Principle - Natural Resource Defense Council, 2006
NGO’s support a precautionary policy for nanomaterials:
1. Prohibit the untested or unsafe use of nanomaterials
2. Conduct full life-cycle EHS impact assessments as a prerequisite to commercialization; assess nanomaterials as new substances, since unique physical properties impart unique hazard profiles
3. Facilitate full and meaningful participation by public and workers in nanotechnologies development and control; assess the social and ethical impacts of nanotechnologies
4. Act on early warnings to protect communities and workers.
Nanotechnologies and Ethics: COMEST Policy Recommendations - UNESCO, 2007
Ethics and nanotechnology: a basis for action - Commission de l’éthique de la science et de la technologie, Québec, April 2007
|The report consists of three chapters devoted to the scientific, legal and ethical implications of nanotechnology. In its ethical assessment of nanotechnology, the Commission is upholding the protection of health and the environment, as well as respect for many values such as dignity, liberty, the integrity of the person, respect for the person, quality of life, respect for privacy, justice and equity, transparency and democracy.|
Ethical issues raised by nanosciences, nanotechnologies and health - Comité Consultatif National d’Ethique pour les Sciences de la Vie et de la Santé, France, February 2007
The Ethics and Politics of Nanotechnology - UNESCO, 2006
Big Picture on NanoScience - Wellcome Trust, June 2006
|Certainly, early examples of nanoproducts have been driven by a rich-world agenda: suncreams, tennis balls, tennis racquets, laptop computers and so on. And millions of pounds are being spent on sensor-laden ‘smartsuits’ for 21st-century infantry.|
NanoEthicsBank - Center for the Study of Ethics in the Professions, Illinois Institute of Technology
|The NanoEthicsBank is a database conceived as a resource for people who are interested in the social and ethical implications of nanotechnology.|
NanoBioRaise - Nanobiotechnology: Responsible Action on Issues in Society and Ethics - Delft University of Technology
|NanoBio-RAISE combines ethics research in nanobiotechnology with science communication.|
This interdisciplinary project brings together nanobiotechnologists, ethicists and communication specialists with the aims to anticipate the societal and ethical issues likely to arise as nanobiotechnologies develop and to use the lessons from the GM debate to respond to the probable public concerns. NanoBio-RAISE is a 6th Framework Programme Science & Society Co-ordination Action funded by the European Commission.
Nanotechnology Challenges, Risks and Ethics - HowStuffWorks
Nanotechnology may allow us to create more powerful weapons, both lethal and non-lethal. If nanotechnology in medicine makes it possible for us to enhance ourselves physically, is that ethical? In theory, medical nanotechnology could make us smarter, stronger and give us other abilities ranging from rapid healing to night vision.
Should we pursue such goals?
Could we continue to call ourselves human, or would we become transhuman?
If molecular manufacturing becomes a reality, how will that impact the world's economy?
Assuming we can build anything we need with the click of a button, what happens to all the manufacturing jobs?
If you can create anything using a replicator, what happens to currency?
Would we move to a completely electronic economy?
Would we even need money?
- The Power of Small - Fred Friendly Seminars, 2008
- PRIVACY: Watching You Watching Me, Safer societies or no more secrets?
- HEALTH: Forever Young, Longer lives? But who decides?
- Ethical Issues - NanoExpo, France
The prospect of manipulating matter on a molecular scale and interacting with the living world raises ethical concerns as well as great hopes.
- Watching me, watching you - how we link nanotech to privacy and security
5 May 2008 - Earth & Sky Radio Series, USA
- Ending drunk-driving deaths is in sight, experts say
10 December 2007 - National Post, Canada
- Nano-scale teaching issues, macro-scale ethical questions
18 November 2007 - Thoreau for Unqualified Offerings, USA
- New products: Nanotechnology’s impact will be enormous
18 November 2007 - The Charleston Gazette, USA
- Russia to design nanotechnology weapons – commander
13 November 2007 - ItarTass, Russia
- NGOs come together in Europe to develop a nano strategy
30 October 2007 - Jennifer Sass's Blog, USA
- Beyond Toxicology: Nanotechnology, Ethics, and Known Unknowns
26 June 2007 - The World's fair, USA
- CNRS ethics committee publishes nanotechnology recommendations
18 October 2006 - CORDIS (Press Release), UE
- Nanotechnology: A small but important dimension to corporate responsibility
12 June 2006 - Ethical Corporation, USA