Protecting Consumers or Failing Them? The Regulation of Nanotechnologies in the EU

European Journal of Consumer Law, Vol. 1, pp. 85-113, 2011

32 Pages Posted: 19 Aug 2011 Last revised: 22 Oct 2013

See all articles by Geert van Calster

Geert van Calster

K.U. Leuven

Diana Megan Bowman

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - School of Public Health

Joel D'Silva

Legal Researcher

Date Written: August 18, 2011

Abstract

Growing consumer demand for new and/or improved products has encouraged governments and industry to experiment with innovative technologies, such as nanotechnologies, across the manufacturing chain. With nanotechnologies destined to impact on every aspect of society, there is increasing concern that they may also have a negative impact on human health and the environment. In light of this discourse this paper examines the European Union’s regulatory frameworks for cosmetics, medical applications and food contact materials in order to determine their suitability for regulating nanotechnology-based products and their associated (potential) risks. While strengths of these current regimes are noted, a number of important gaps within each framework are identified. Initial steps for addressing these gaps which take into consideration both the need to protect against potential risks, and the broader consumer interests associated with the development of the technologies, are outlined.

Keywords: nanotechnology, regulation, consumer, cosmetics, foods, medicine, nanoscience

JEL Classification: K32

Suggested Citation

van Calster, Geert and Bowman, Diana Megan and D'Silva, Joel, Protecting Consumers or Failing Them? The Regulation of Nanotechnologies in the EU (August 18, 2011). European Journal of Consumer Law, Vol. 1, pp. 85-113, 2011 . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1911902

Geert Van Calster

K.U. Leuven ( email )

Tiensestraat 41
Bus 3424
B-3000 Leuven, 3000
Belgium

HOME PAGE: http://www.gavc.be

Diana Megan Bowman

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - School of Public Health ( email )

1415 Washington Heights
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2029
United States

Joel D'Silva (Contact Author)

Legal Researcher ( email )

Leuven, 3000
Belgium

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