Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Information Transfer, Traceability and Product Registers for Nanoproducts 5th Int. Nano Authorities Dialogue in Berlin

Hubert Steinkemper, Head of Department at the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety
Hubert Steinkemper, Head of Department at the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety

Abstract:
On May 3rd and 4th, representatives of ministries, agencies, industry, science and civil organisations from Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Liechtenstein met in Berlin at the invitation of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety to discuss current developments in the governance of nanotechnologies. The main topics discussed at the 5th International Nano Authorities Dialogue were the results of the NanoKommission Germany 2009-2011 as well as ongoing national and international developments in regulation, registration and information transfer regarding nanomaterials of those countries participating in the Dialogue. The Authorities Dialogue has been organised by the Innovation Society, St.Gallen, since 2008 in cooperation with the German-speaking authorities and ministries in the area of health and the environment.

Information Transfer, Traceability and Product Registers for Nanoproducts 5th Int. Nano Authorities Dialogue in Berlin

Germany | Posted on May 24th, 2011

Germany Hosting the 5th Int. Nano Authorities Dialogue

Hubert Steinkemper, Head of Department at the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety addressed the meeting and emphasised the importance of addressing questions about regulatory tools in the governance of nanotechnologies in light of the increasing economic importance of nanotechnologies. To ensure the safety for humans and the environment while allowing innovations to happen, the dialogue among authorities and representatives of institutions and associations according to the well-established model of the Nano Authorities Dialogue represents an opportunity for an informal and unbureaucratic exchange.

The participants discussed the role of stakeholder dialogue using the example of the NanoKommission Germany 2009-2011 and its results. Stakeholder dialogue contributes to the process of early engagement with the topic and to an exchange of positions of different stakeholder groups. Stakeholder dialogue can be interpreted as an early warning system, enabling better assessment ofthe consequences of different courses of action. It was however rated differently how binding the results of stakeholder dialogues are, and what impact they should have in the concrete regulatory practice.

The work done under the NanoKommission was also appraised as working against the tendency of stigmatising "nano" as a high risk technology or generally hazardous. However, the participants also identified particular challenges in finding some common grounds among experts and stakeholders in the dialogue about hazard assessments based on emerging scientific data.

Nano Product Registers as a Tool for Governance

Several instruments for the governance of nanomaterials and nanoproducts have been considered; in particular, a nanomaterial register and a nanoproduct register, as well as the pros and cons of a labelling of nanomaterials in consumer products. It was discussed in what form these instruments could contribute to increasing transparency about the use of nanomaterials in consumer products.

While consumer interests seem to focus primarily on the freedom of choice whether to buy products with nanomaterials, authorities need to be able to quickly and adequately react, e.g. in case of a threat. The questions linked to the respective information requirements and the accessibility of data about nanomaterials in products have been controversially discussed using these examples:

a restricted governmental register (to be used to trace back nanomaterials in case of an incident or to assess exposure)

a publicly accessible nanoproduct register, and

"simple" labelling of nanomaterials on consumer products

Providing information about the presence of certain ingredients in a product serves a different purpose than providing information about potentially hazardous properties of these ingredients. It was argued, on the one hand, that a nanoproduct register would increase transparency, but it would not eliminate the existing uncertainties in hazard assessment. A nanoproduct register should thus not be used to establish particular hazard labelling for "nano". As a precondition for a nanoproduct register, there is a need for a definition of the term "nanomaterial". Such work is currently underway at the European Commission and will be concluded in autumn.

Labelling of "nano" could lead to a stigmatisation of nanotechnologies in general. In the current situation regarding the availability of data, labelling alone would furthermore not allow hazardous products to be identified. It was furthermore questioned in what way a nano labelling (across all product sectors) would be interpreted by the consumers. While all ingredients are labelled in the food sector, labelling in the chemicals area indicates a hazard.

A nanoproduct register could also be interpreted as a temporary solution. In the form of a governmental register (data not publicly available) it could serve as a precautionary instrument as long as significant uncertainties in hazard assessment are considered to prevail. In case of an incident, precise information about the product formulation could be provided and traceability be ensured.

####

About The Innovation Society Ltd.
The innovation society is an internationally active management- and technology consulting company. We provide professional consulting in the area of safe and sustainable use of new technologies, risk management, strategy development and communication.

We are good at new technologies with a controversial opportunity / risk profile, e.g. nanotechnologies. We focus on the topics of food, risk, bio- / genetic engineering and life sciences / medicine.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
The Innovation Society Ltd. St.Gallen
Lerchenfeldstr. 5
9014 St.Gallen (Switzerland)
Tel: +41 (0) 71 274 74 17

Copyright © The Innovation Society Ltd.

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

The first light atomic nucleus with a second face July 20th, 2017

Semiliquid chains pulled out of a sea of microparticles July 20th, 2017

Tokyo Institute of Technology research: Antiaromatic molecule displays record electrical conductance July 19th, 2017

Harnessing light to drive chemical reactions July 19th, 2017

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

The first light atomic nucleus with a second face July 20th, 2017

Semiliquid chains pulled out of a sea of microparticles July 20th, 2017

Here's a tip: Indented cement shows unique properties: Rice University models reveal nanoindentation can benefit crystals in concrete July 20th, 2017

Harnessing light to drive chemical reactions July 19th, 2017

Possible Futures

Probiotics: Novel biosynthetic tool to develop metallic nanoparticles: This research article by Dr. Nida Akhtar et al has been published in Recent Patents on Drug Delivery & Formulation, Volume 11, Issue 1, 2017 July 20th, 2017

Semiliquid chains pulled out of a sea of microparticles July 20th, 2017

Here's a tip: Indented cement shows unique properties: Rice University models reveal nanoindentation can benefit crystals in concrete July 20th, 2017

Harnessing light to drive chemical reactions July 19th, 2017

Announcements

Probiotics: Novel biosynthetic tool to develop metallic nanoparticles: This research article by Dr. Nida Akhtar et al has been published in Recent Patents on Drug Delivery & Formulation, Volume 11, Issue 1, 2017 July 20th, 2017

The first light atomic nucleus with a second face July 20th, 2017

Semiliquid chains pulled out of a sea of microparticles July 20th, 2017

Here's a tip: Indented cement shows unique properties: Rice University models reveal nanoindentation can benefit crystals in concrete July 20th, 2017

Food/Agriculture/Supplements

Probiotics: Novel biosynthetic tool to develop metallic nanoparticles: This research article by Dr. Nida Akhtar et al has been published in Recent Patents on Drug Delivery & Formulation, Volume 11, Issue 1, 2017 July 20th, 2017

New technology could offer cheaper, faster food testing: Specialized droplets interact with bacteria and can be analyzed using a smartphone April 7th, 2017

Meta-lenses bring benchtop performance to small, hand-held spectrometer: Game-changing nanostructure-based lenses allow smaller devices, increased functionality February 9th, 2017

PCATDES Starts Field Testing of Photocatalytic Reactors in South East Asia December 28th, 2016

Safety-Nanoparticles/Risk management

Tests show no nanotubes released during utilisation of nanoaugmented materials June 9th, 2017

NanoMONITOR shares its latest developments concerning the NanoMONITOR Software and the Monitoring stations April 21st, 2017

NIST updates 'sweet' 1950s separation method to clean nanoparticles from organisms January 27th, 2017

Nanoparticle exposure can awaken dormant viruses in the lungs January 17th, 2017

Events/Classes

Nanometrics to Announce Second Quarter Financial Results on August 1, 2017 July 14th, 2017

Nanometrics Introduces SpectraProbe Analysis Software: Advanced software and algorithms enhancing Nanometrics metrology fleet capabilities fab-wide July 13th, 2017

Bosch announces high-performance MEMS acceleration sensors for wearables June 27th, 2017

Nanometrics to Participate in the 9th Annual CEO Investor Summit 2017: Accredited investor and publishing research analyst event held concurrently with SEMICON West and Intersolar 2017 in San Francisco June 27th, 2017

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project