Euractiv reports that Robert Madelin, director-general at the European Commission’s health and consumer affairs directorate “has hit out at lobby groups who stoke fear of nanotechnology” and said it was “irresponsible” to use panic in order to attract attention.
It is an interesting step forward, as anti nano lobby groups in Brussels have been very vocal in calling for all manner of moratoria and bans, and have previously had a larger influence on the debate than scientists and toxicologists.
Here is a selection of the reported anti-nano viewpoints
Dr Jennifer Sass, senior scientist at the Natural Resources Defence Council, said she does not subscribe to the definition of nanotechnology which limits its scope to substances smaller than 100 nanometres.
Hmmm, let’s just chuck any definitions out of the window and see if that moves the debate along?
Caroline Cairns, programme leader for product safety at the Consumers Union in the US said there are lessons to be drawn for nanotechnology regulation from the financial services meltdown of 2008.
Referring to the complex financial products being sold by banks and insurers, Cairns said “if you don’t understand a product, don’t invest in it”.
You could also argue that if you don’t understand a technology don’t lobby against it!