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Posted: June 15, 2009

New study compares nanotechnology risks with disclosure failures in asbestos litigation losses

(Nanowerk News) Are companies and investors headed down the same lawsuit-riddled road with nanotechnology that cost billions of dollars as a result of undisclosed risks about asbestos? A new report prepared for the Investor Environmental Health Network (IEHN) will outline disturbing parallels between asbestos and nanotechnology in order to illustrate the eight needed steps that the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) and the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) should take to improve disclosures made to investors.
The report will show how regulatory flaws encourage companies to conceal damaging scientific findings from investors, fail to disclose estimates of the range of potential liabilities, and place undue reliance on litigators. According to the report, as potentially hazardous nanotechnologies enter the market on a widespread basis today, the same regulatory weaknesses that allowed asbestos manufacturers to conceal information from investors are being abused once again to conceal information regarding the newer technologies.
The report was authored for IEHN by Sanford Lewis, Esq., counsel to the Investor Environmental Health Network, and co-founder of the Corporate Sunshine Working Group. He participated in the March 6, 2009 roundtable of FASB regarding reform of contingent liability reporting under FAS 5. The Investor Environmental Health Network is a collaborative partnership of investment managers who manage more than $25 billion in assets and are concerned about the financial and public health risks associated with corporate toxic chemicals policies.
News event speakers will be:
Sanford Lewis, Esq., counsel, Investor Environmental Health Network, and co-founder of the Corporate Sunshine Working Group; and
David Rejeski, director, project on emerging nanotechnologies, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and former federal agency representative, White House Council on Environmental Quality.
TO PARTICIPATE: You can join this live, phone-based news conference (with full, two-way Q&A) at 1:30 p.m. EDT on June 16, 2009 by dialing 1 (800) 860-2442. Ask for the “nanotechnology/investor risks report” news event.
CAN’T PARTICIPATE?: A streaming audio replay of the news event will be available on the Web at http://www.iehn.org as of 6 p.m. EDT on June 16, 2009.
Source: The Hastings Group
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