General Article Is nanotechnology the new GM?

Topic Selected: Biotech and Bioethics
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Democratic deficit?

The Soil Association, which refuses to give its Organic label to products containing nanomaterials, summed up some of the key issues around nanotechnology in 2008:

  • Commercial opportunities have run ahead of scientific understanding and regulatory control.
  • The industry is trying to win over Government backing with compelling claims about the benefits of the technology and to win over consumers by promoting individual products, whilst neglecting the fundamental issues of safety.
  • Initial studies show some negative effects and there is a list of potential health impacts that have yet to be investigated by scientists.
  • Regulators have not reacted to the scientific evidence of health effects for products that are already commercialised, instead accepting industry reassurances and unpublished industry evidence.
  • The standard of proof is being set very high for any concerns, but low for reasons to dismiss con

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