Friends of the Earth Australia has adopted a new nanotechnology policy. The policy calls for an immediate moratorium on all commercial research, development and release of nanotechnological materials and products. It recommends that given the serious risks associated with nanotechnology’s introduction, public involvement in decision making and the introduction of a regulatory regime based on the precautionary principle must be prerequisites to further commercialisation of nanoproducts.
The policy provides a brief overview of the serious new risks to human health and the environment that nanotechnology introduces, as well as its potential to result in large-scale economic disruption and the development of new and ever more powerful nano-weaponry.
The policy calls for the democratic control of and public participation in decision making on nanotechnology and other new technologies. It also outlines the necessary components of a future regulatory framework to manage the risks of nanotoxicity, and nanotechnology’s social and economic impacts.