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Posted: Sep 10, 2010
State-level nano regulation: Yes, indeed, the industry 'should have seen it coming' - it caused it!
(Nanowerk News) It's alway good to listen to both sides of an argument. In that respect, a blog entry on the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF)'s website is quite interesting. Titled "State-level nano regulation: Yes, indeed, the industry "should have seen it coming" – it caused it!", Richard Denison gives his take on the role of state and federal regulations relating to nanomaterials. Richard writes:
"I just read an interesting column by John DiLoreto, CEO of NanoReg ... It's titled "We Should Have Seen It Coming: States Regulating Nanotechnology." It nicely describes the important role states play in advancing environmental policy and regulation – especially when the feds are asleep at the wheel. And it also gives a neat rundown of the various state actions aimed at nanomaterials that are underway.
But, search as I might, I couldn't find a single acknowledgment in Mr. DiLoreto's latest column – or in his earlier related column titled "What Drives the Regulation of Nanomaterials?" – of the role the nanotechnology industry itself played in bringing all of this on itself.
That's quite an omission, in my view, given that the industry's actions (or, more accurately, the lack thereof) played a central role in getting us to where we are (or, more accurately, aren't) today on nanotechnology oversight. That includes driving states to feel they had to step in to fill the federal void.
In the nearly seven years I've followed the issue, the principal stance of the industry, with some exceptions, has been to urge or compel the federal government to "slow-walk" nanotechnology oversight. That includes seeking to block or slow down even modest proposals by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to obtain better information about nanomaterials in or about to enter commerce."
He then lists several examples and comes to the conclusion that "the real danger is continuation of a government oversight system that is too antiquated, resource-starved, legally shackled and industry-stymied to provide to the public and the marketplace any assurance of the safety of these new materials as they flood into commerce."