Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Ban on Nanotechnology

The Soil Association, the U.K.’s largest certifier of organic products, announced yesterday that it will not certify as organic any product containing manufactured nanoparticles. According to a press release from the organization, the ban applies particularly to health and beauty products, but also to food and textiles. “Ahead of the Government,” says the release, “we are the first organization in the world to take action against this hazardous, potentially toxic technology that poses a serious new threat to human health.” The new standard, which takes effect immediately, bans man-made nanomaterials whose basic particle size is less than 125nm and whose mean particle size is less than 200nm. The release does not mention any companies that have applied for organic certification for products containing such materials, but does mention a number of companies and products that do contain nanomaterials.

What kind of threat does a ban like this pose for new technology development in general? Is this a one-off ban on nanotechnology, or is there more to come? What will be the net impact of a ban like this on the cosmetic industry?


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