The first ever lawsuit concerning risks of nanotechnology was filed in federal court last month when several groups jointly sued the US Food and Drug Administration for its lack of response to a 2006 petition demanding that products with nanomaterials be labeled and their affects tested for safety.
Led by the International Center for Technology Assessment (ICTA), plaintiffs also include Friends of the Earth, Food and Water Watch, the Center for Environmental Health, the ETC Group, and the Institute for Agricultural and Trade Policy (IATP).
‘It is unacceptable that the FDA continues to allow unregulated and unlabeled nanomaterials to be used in products consumers use every day,’ said Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food & Water Watch. ‘It is past time for this agency to live up to its mission and protect public health by assessing the health and environmental risks of nanomaterials, and to require labeling so that consumers know where these new materials are being used.’
Based on the scientific literature so far, several hundred products should be recalled due to their toxicity to lab animals and bacteria.
Much of the 2011 complaint argues that because nanomaterials are patented, and exhibit novel characteristics unique to their size, they clearly represent new substances requiring regulation and safety tests. Plaintiffs demand a recall on all such products until their safety is proven.
Consumer groups including some of the same plaintiffs in the current lawsuit also filed petitions urging nanotech regulation with the Environmental Protection Agency back in 2006 and 2008, reports the Chemical Regulation Reporter.
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