The nanotechnology industry is increasingly promoting nano as a “green” technology that will improve the environmental performance of existing industries, reduce our consumption of resources and energy, and allow us to achieve environmentally benign economic expansion. But Friends of the Earth is concerned that nanotechnology could facilitate the radical expansion of resource and energy consumption, and pollution and waste emission, while introducing a whole new range of serious ecological risks.
In March this year, the International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers’ Associations (IUF) called for a global moratorium on nanotechnology. The IUF cited concerns regarding the health and environmental risks of nanotoxicity, the broader socio-economic implications of nanotechnology, and the failure to involve the public in decision making about the introduction of this powerful new technology. The IUF represents nearly 12 million workers from over 120 countries – its call for a moratorium is the most significant to date.