A long-awaited review of New Zealand (Aotearoa)’s nanotechnology regulation has found so many gaps that nano researcher Professor Simon Brown has told the NZ Science Media Centre, "the regulatory system is simply not working". Stephanie Howard, Projects Director with the Sustainability Council, says "what is most striking about the study is the lack of serious response from Government."
The regulatory gaps identified were in relation to the existence, scope and application of regulation. Similarly to Australia’s "Monash report" that reviewed Australian nanotechnology regulation in 2007, the biggest gap identified was that nanomaterials are not identified as "new" substances. This means that although many regulations technically apply to nanomaterials, no new labelling, notification to regulators or safety testing is required before the products can be sold, leaving them effectively unregulated.
To access the regulatory review, click here.
For the Sustainability Council of New Zealand’s summary of the report, and their key concerns about its implications, click here.