U.S. Government Gets Mixed Feedback On Nanotechnology
CBC.CA/The Associated Press, Oct. 11, 2006
The U.S. government must balance close oversight of the fast-growing field of nanotechnology against the risk of stifling new development, a Food and Drug Administration conference was told Oct. 11, 2006.
These contrasting views emerged from a host of experts that the agency brought together to discuss how it should regulate products containing tiny particles, some as small as one-millionth the width of the head of a pin.
Increasingly, those submicroscopic particles are being incorporated into the thousands of products overseen by the FDA, including drugs, foods, cosmetics and medical devices.
Those products account for roughly 20 cents of every dollar spent each year by U.S. consumers, giving the FDA a key role in both safeguarding the public and guiding the future development of nanotechnology.
“The success of nanotechnology will rely in large part on how FDA plays its regulatory role,” said Michael Taylor of the University of Maryland’s School of Public Health.
The key is to use science to weigh both the benefits and the risks of nanotechnology, said Matthew Jaffe of the U.S. Council of International Business. That’s a balance the FDA already seeks to strike in assessing other products.
“We believe the regulatory process that is in place is significant and adequate to address the issues before the FDA,” Jaffe said.
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