The Australian Consumers Association, the Biological Farmers of Australia, the GeneEthics Network, the Public Health Association of Australia and the SEARCH Foundation have joined Friends of the Earth in calling for genuine public engagement on nanotechnology. Click here to read the groups’ joint submission to the Nanotechnology Taskforce and their criticism of the Taskforce’s discussion paper.

The groups emphasised the serious nature of nanotechnology’s threats to health and environment, and the extent to which nanotechnology may result in wide-scale social disruption.

The groups criticised the inadequacy of the recent four-week period for public submissions, the failure of the Nanotechnology Taskforce’s discussion paper to address adequately public interest issues, and the lack of any real effort to involve the community in decision making regarding nanotechnology’s introduction.

The groups called for a new, transparent and broadly accessible process to enable genuine community involvement in decision making about nanotechnology.

Friends of the Earth also made an individual submission to the Nanotechnology Taskforce that provided a more detailed overview of key ethical problems, and risks to health, environment and democracy associated with nanotechnology.