FOEA Emerging tech Project

Doomsday Clock edges closer to midnight as risks of emerging tech go unchecked

This year the Doomsday Clock was set at three minutes to midnight, two minutes closer to catastrophe than in 2014. The members of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists Science and Security Board cited unchecked climate change, nuclear weapons and emerging technological threats such as synthetic biology and artificial intelligence as the reasons we are teetering towards global catastrophe. According to the Bulletin “world leaders have failed to...

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Register suggests widespread unregulated use of nanomaterials in agriculture in Australia

The revelation that large quantities of nanomaterials are being used in agricultural chemicals in France has brought into serious question claims made by the Australian Pesticide and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA), that nanomaterials are currently not being used in agricultural chemicals in Australia. France is the first country globally to have adopted a mandatory register of nanomaterial use. Its 2013 statistics, released late in...

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US groups sue the EPA for failing to regulate nano-silver

While exasperation grows in Australia with regulators who don’t regulate, unfortunately it appears that regulatory paralysis is not a problem confined to Australia. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has declared silver a pesticide. In 2008 the International Center for Technology Assessment issued the EPA with a legal petition requesting that they also declare nano-silver a pesticide and begin to register and regulate the...

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Government’s deregulatory extremism puts public at risk

We are surrounded by regulation. Every moment of our waking and sleeping lives is populated with a vast regulatory network. There are thousands of regulations relating to our homes, our clothes, our foods, the way we drive, the places we work, the wages we receive, the super we contribute to, the environment we live in and depend on for life. Many of these regulations have saved lives and protected property and biodiversity. But regulation in...

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APVMA fails to address risks of nanomaterial use in agriculture

As the Australian Pest and Veterinary Medicine Authority (APVMA) attempts to grapple with the issue of nanomaterials in agricultural chemicals, Friends of the Earth have warned that unregulated nanomaterials are already being used in agriculture in Australia – posing unacceptable risks. Recently the APVMA released a discussion paper on regulatory options regarding the use of nanomaterials in agricultural chemicals. The paper identified...

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