Government officials from Austria, Germany, Liechtenstein and Switzerland met recently in Liechtenstein for the 4th International Nano Authorities Dialogue organised by the Innovation Society, St. Gallen.
Discussions were focused on the legal and technical issues surrounding the insurability and regulation of nanotechnologies which are becoming an important issue for insurance companies.
Experts also identified a number of regulatory gaps and argued that the potential risks of manufactured nanomaterials for human health and the environment must be thoroughly and continuously monitored.
More information at the Innovation Society website.
The NanoCode Project has recently published a Synthesis Report that provides a broad overview of current codes of conduct, voluntary measures and practices aimed toward promoting responsibledevelopment of nanoscience and nanotechnologies (N&N), and which compares these with the provisions of the Code of Conduct (CoC) for N&N research as proposed by the European Commission. The report includes information drawn from individual country reports prepared by each of the NanoCode partners that covered the situation in their own country.
The NanoCode Synthesis Report is an invaluable resource for all those involved in promoting the responsible development of N&N and provides information also on the further initiatives to be taken in the NanoCode Project in developing tools to support the European CoC.
A copy of the report is available for download here .
Agreeing on a legal definition of nanomaterials that satisfies food manufacturers, regulators, enforcement bodies and consumers will be hugely challenging, according to experts gathered at a nanotechnology workshop in Leatherhead, UK, last week.
Currently, the only legal definition for nanomaterials in the EU is in the Cosmetics Regulation (EC 1223/2009), which defines nanomaterials (for labelling purposes) as "insoluble or biopersistent and intentionally manufactured... with one or more external dimensions or an internal structure on the scale of 1-100 nanometres".
A second definition - which focuses on "intentionally-produced materials in the order of 100-nanometres or less" is included in the latest draft of the revised Novel Food Regulation.
A third definition that appears to focus more on size than functionality is being developed by the European Commission's independent Scientific Committee for Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks.
However, all of the above definitions are problematic, according to scientists and legal experts at last week's workshop, which was organised by Leatherhead Food Research, NanoCentral and the UK's Nanotechnology Knowledge Transfer Network (NanoKTN).