FOEA Emerging tech Project

Conflict of interest concerns with European Commission’s expert risk assessors

A new report by Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO) raises serious concerns regarding potential conflicts of interest in the European Commission’s Scientific Committees. Looking at four recent case studies – parabens, nano titanium dioxide, nano-silver and mercury – CEO discovered that 67 per cent of the scientists who drafted opinions had at least one conflict of interest. Some had as many as 20 – due to their direct and indirect links...

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Review of nanomaterials in agriculture highlights multiple risks and uncertainties

A recent review looking at the interactions between engineered nanomaterials and agricultural crops and the implications for food safety paints a disturbing picture of an industry that may be exposing us to serious health and environmental problems. The review discusses a range of studies that identify or suggest impacts of engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) on food plants and concludes there are potentially serious implications for food safety...

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Australian court hands biotech company a patent on life

“A naturally occurring DNA segment is a product of nature and not patent eligible merely because it has been isolated.” These are the first words in a 2013 US Supreme Court decision regarding a patent on the human BRCA 1 gene – a product of nature that has been isolated. Last week the Australian Federal Court ruled that the same patent was valid  – directing contradicting the Supreme Court decision. The Federal Court’s...

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