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Home > Nanotechnology Columns > Bergeson & Campbell, P.C. > Coalition Sues FDA Over Alleged Risks from Nanotechnology and Nanomaterials

Lynn L. Bergeson
Managing Director
Bergeson & Campbell, P.C.

Abstract:
On December 21, 2011, a coalition of nonprofit consumer safety and environmental groups sued the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

December 23rd, 2011

Coalition Sues FDA Over Alleged Risks from Nanotechnology and Nanomaterials

On December 21, 2011, a coalition of nonprofit consumer safety and environmental groups sued the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. See http://www.icta.org/nanotechnology/legal-actions-6/ Not the holiday present FDA wanted. The coalition is led by the International Center for Technology Assessment (ICTA), and includes Friends of the Earth, Food and Water Watch, the Center for Environmental Health, the ETC Group, and the Institute for Agricultural and Trade Policy. ICTA states that its lawsuit "demands" FDA respond to the coalition's 2006 petition. See http://www.icta.org/doc/Nano%20FDA%20petition%20final.pdf The 2006 petition requested FDA take several actions, including requiring specific product labeling and health and safety testing; analyzing the environmental and health impacts of nanomaterials in products approved by FDA; and regulating sunscreens containing nanomaterials. In the complaint, the coalition states that, since 2006, "nanomaterial consumer products have continued to proliferate without oversight." The coalition asks the court to order FDA to respond to its 2006 petition without further delay.

The legal merits of the complaint are unclear as FDA's legal duty to respond at all, and if so by when, are unclear. At the least, however, the initiation of the lawsuit will focus the court of public opinion on the now six-year old petition.

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