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Posted: July 22, 2009
Nanotechnologies in Consumer Products: Challenges and Opportunities for Europe
(Nanowerk News) Public affairs and strategic communications agency Landmark Europe announced today the publication of a new nanotechnology report entitled Nanotechnologies in consumer products: challenges and opportunities for Europe. The report provides a clear and up-to-date overview and analysis of the controversial scientific, socio-economic and ethical debates on nanotechnologies, as well as the current and forthcoming EU policy framework.
The report includes the results of a Landmark survey of EU-level stakeholders and opinion formers. This revealed among other things that while there is a belief that overall benefits will outweigh risks, there is widespread concern about the adequacy of current risk assessment and strong demand for labelling, particularly for food, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals.
“This report is essential reading for all those interested in this fast moving, complex area and any business using or contemplating using nano-sized particles in their products”, said Rocco Renaldi, Managing Director of Landmark Europe, “Above all, it draws on an expert assessment of the current policy debate to formulate strategic recommendations for all stakeholders wishing to shape a successful European policy framework. As our study shows, there is strong demand for EU leadership in this field, but a clear direction has not yet been set.”
With the new European Parliament and new Commission, the coming five years will be critical in deciding Europe's future policy and regulatory framework for nanotech. This will be a unique window of opportunity for stakeholders to shape policy that will have far-reaching consequences. In this process, businesses will need to understand the risks that may impact their activities, engage effectively with other stakeholders, and address openly and honestly any public concerns.
“Nanotechnologies hold great promise, but Europe is a notoriously risk-averse environment. It demands public debate, cautious risk assessment and transparency towards consumers,” said Jacqueline Smith, lead author and a partner at Landmark Europe. “While science can guide risk assessment, it cannot engineer public acceptance. This can only be achieved through open dialogue, a supportive innovation environment, a solid but proportionate regulatory framework and, on the part of industry in particular, responsibility, transparency and intelligent communications.”
“The development of a European regulatory framework is at a critical junction. This time of institutional and political renewal should be an opportunity for the EU to take the lead in building a successful policy framework for nanotechnologies”, she added, “ It will be in every stakeholder’s interest to participate constructively in the complex dialogues that will no doubt shape and underpin policy-making. In this context, the importance of building trust cannot be overstated.”
The new Landmark Europe report, Nanotechnologies in consumer products: challenges and opportunities for Europe, is available for purchase at http://www.landmarkeurope.eu/nanotech.html. A full contents list and sample pages can be viewed at the same address.