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The Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies (a partnership between the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and The Pew Charitable Trusts) and the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) today announced that they are jointly sponsoring the development of a series of case studies on the commercialization and regulation of engineered nanoscale materials for food and packaging materials. The case studies will illustrate and critically evaluate the path to commercialization of hypothetical products, focusing on supply chain stewardship and regulatory oversight. They will be developed by technical experts from government, academia, industry, and nongovernmental organizations.
The first case study will focus on a hypothetical nano packaging product, and will be developed under the direction of independent consultant and University of Maryland School of Medicine professor Michael R. Taylor.
"We are very pleased to be working with the Wilson Center on this important project," said Pat Verduin, senior vice president and chief science officer of the Grocery Manufacturers Association. "Engineered nanoscale materials could have some very promising applications for our industry, but before we can take advantage of these applications, we must have better insights into the commercialization and regulation of these materials. It is our hope that this joint project with the Wilson Center will allow us to gain some of these insights."
According to Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies (PEN) director David Rejeski, some experts estimate that the worldwide nanotechnology food market will be $20.4 billion by 2010. The precise figure is unknown, but like other sectors-for example, medicine, energy, and electronics-nanotechnology's future impact on food and agriculture will be significant. "At this early stage, it is important to look ahead to understand and carefully evaluate the regulatory pathway to commercialization, so that the roles and responsibilities of the regulatory agencies and industry are clearly understood and that the system works well to assure safety," said Rejeski.
For further information about this joint effort, please contact Jeff Barach, GMA's vice president and center director at 202-639-5900 or by email at ; Nancy Rachman, GMA's senior director, Safety Evaluation and Scientific Affairs at 202-639-5958 or ; or, Julia Moore, PEN's deputy director at 202-691-4025 or by e-mail at .
About The Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies
The Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies is an initiative launched by the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and The Pew Charitable Trusts in 2005. It is dedicated to helping business, government and the public anticipate and manage possible health and environmental implications of nanotechnology. For more information about the project, log on to www.nanotechproject.org .
The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) represents the world‚s leading food, beverage and consumer products companies. The association promotes sound public policy, champions initiatives that increase productivity and growth and helps to protect the safety and security of the food supply through scientific excellence. The GMA/FPA board of directors is comprised of fifty-two chief executive officers from the Association‚s member companies. The $2.1 trillion food, beverage and consumer packaged goods industry employs 14 million workers, and contributes over $1 trillion in added value to the nation‚s economy.
Nanotechnology is the ability to measure, see, manipulate and manufacture things usually between 1 and 100 nanometers. A nanometer is one billionth of a meter; a human hair is roughly 100,000 nanometers wide.
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