Nanotechnology Project


Regulating the Products of Nanotechnology

Thursday October 5, 2006 • 12:00-1:00 P.M. (light lunch available at 11:30)

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Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, 5th Floor Conference Room

Does FDA Have the Tools It Needs?

WASHINGTON—Former Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Deputy Commissioner for Policy Michael R. Taylor analyzes FDA’s ability to properly protect the American public from the potential hazards associated with nanotechnology in a new report, Regulating the Products of Nanotechnology: Does FDA Have the Tools It Needs?The report was commissioned by the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies in advance of FDA’s first major public meeting on regulating products containing nanotechnology materials.

Taylor finds there are gaps in legal authority and fundamental inadequacies in resources that FDA faces as it attempts to better understand and manage the potential risks from hundreds of new products utilizing nanotechnology entering the marketplace in areas such as cosmetics, dietary supplements, food, and drugs. Taylor sets out a necessary course of action for the FDA, Congress, and industry to address these gaps. He also examines whether FDA should classify some nanoscale materials as “new” for legal, regulatory, and safety purposes.

More than $32 billion in nanotechnology products were sold globally last year and, by 2014, Lux Research projects $2.6 trillion in manufactured goods will incorporate nanotechnology. Nanotechnology refers to the emerging science of manufacturing materials that are measured in nanometers, usually at the 1-100 nanometers scale. The head of a pin is 1 million nanometers wide.