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Demands for Regulation of NanoSilver – The First Battle for the Industry’s Future?
Volume 6, Issue 3

Reed D. Rubinstein, Greenberg Traurig LLP

An initial shot over the bow has been fired at the nanotechnology industry by a non-profit organization whose avowed purpose is to “[h]alt the commercialization of nanotechnology until products containing nanoparticles have been proven safe.” The International Center for Technology Assessment (ICTA), along with other special interest groups, filed a 116-page petition with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, demanding that EPA regulates all nano-silver products as pesticides, and stops the use or sale of all consumer products containing nano-silver, und er FIFRA, the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act.

Yet, nano-silver is the most prevalent nanomaterial in consumer products today, and is subject to more regulatory oversight and enjoys the most extensive support by available safety and efficacy data of any nanomaterial. This article suggests that the ICTA’s petition may be driven more by political agenda than science, and aimed at souring the public’s perception of nanotechnology. The author warns the nanotechnology industry not to shrink from engaging in what will be a war worth fighting, but to learn from the mistakes of other industries. Nanotechnology stakeholders should expose the biases, agendas, and dubious funding sources of its critics on the one hand, while proactively preserving consumer faith and confidence, protecting its workers and safeguarding the environment at the same time.

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