Thursday, December 11, 2008

National Research Council releases report on the NNI's EHS Strategic Plan

Yesterday, the U.S. National Science Council released its independent review of the National Nanotechnology Initiative's (NNI) strategic plan to address the potential human heath, safety, and environmental (EHS) risks associated with nanotechnology research and development. The committee responsible for the report concluded that the NNI's plan suffers from major weaknesses and does not provide either a vision, a coordinated set of research goals, or a plan of action for how these goals shall be achieved. The committee also found that the NNI had not adequately consided the views of the nanotech industry, consumer and environmental groups, or the regulatory actions of states, localities, and foreign countries. They urged the NNI to go beyond only opening up reports to public comment, and to find better ways of engaging stakeholders in the process.

In a statement released the same day, an informal coalition of environmental and business organizations, including the Environmental Defense Fund, the NanoBusiness Alliance, BASF Corporation, and Dupont, published a statement in support of the report's findings.

For more coverage of the report and reactions to its findings, please see the following articles in the New York Times and Science Magazine's "Science Insider" Blog.

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