Developing Oversight Frameworks for Nanobiotechnology
17 Pages Posted: 9 Mar 2008 Last revised: 18 Nov 2014
Oversight systems specific to nanotechnology have not yet been created; stakeholders, government, industry, academia, and the public are debating whether and how to craft such systems and address emerging safety, social, and ethical issues. The United States has no coordinated policy for oversight of the products and applications of nanotechnology and uncertainty prevails over how existing general regulatory regimes and industry standards apply to emerging nanotechnologies. Empirical assessment of health and environmental risks is still in process. At the same time, public understanding of nanotechnology is rudimentary and public concern exists. This article focuses on nanobiotechnology, which most directly raises questions of how oversight can address safety and efficacy, outlines the current debate on oversight in the United States, suggests why deliberate development of oversight strategies is important, and recommends how to develop them.
Keywords: nanotechnology, regulation, oversight, federal agencies
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