Showing posts with label gmo. Show all posts
Showing posts with label gmo. Show all posts
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Nanotech regulations in Canada?

Saturday, December 23, 2006

This column written by a lawyer for The Globe is worth to read:
How many nanotech products are being manufactured and sold in Canada? What kind of emissions are being produced and released? What happens when nanomaterials enter the environment? Do they break down into other substances or are they persistent? Do they build up in the bodies of living organisms? What is the level of exposure of Canadians to nanomaterials? What are safe levels of exposure? What are the health effects of exposure to nanomaterials? What laws or regulations will ensure the safety of workers, consumers and the environment?

There are no answers to these questions. There has never been a debate in the House of Commons or even in a parliamentary committee about the policy implications of this new technology. As Agriculture Minister Chuck Strahl has acknowledged, "none of us knows anything about nanotechnology."

"None of us knows anything bout nanotech". As has been previously discussed, this does not necessarily means that it is entirely not regulated. When there is a case, courts will decide based on legal principles. The drawbacks: more to risk-mitigation than risk avoidance. The GMO and asbestos case may reoccur.

Hat tip: Mike Treder/CRN

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EU-US regulatory gap?

Sunday, December 3, 2006

Recent WTO panel ruled out that the GMO moratorium conducted by the EU is illegal. The panel stated that EC safeguard measures "were not based on risk assessments satisfying the definition of the SPS Agreement and hence could be presumed to be maintained without sufficient scientific evidence." This is what the european commission said about the GMO case:
The US appears not to like the EU authorisation regime, which it considers to be too stringent, simply becaue it takes longer to approve a GMO in Europe than in the US. The US appears to believe that GMOs that are considered to be safe in the US should be de facto deemed to be safe for the rest of the world. The EU has argued that a sovereign body like the EU and its Member States, or indeed any country in the world, has the right to enact its own regulations on the food that its citizens would eat, providing that the measures are compatible with existing international rules and based on clear scientific evidence.The US also opposes GMO traceability rules because it considers that they constitute an obstacle to US commodity exports, despite the fact that US traders can in fact meet those requirements without difficulties. The US is also adamantly opposed to labelling rules for food products produced from GMOs, even though these rules are designed to help ensure that customers are well-informed about what they are buying.
This case is a lesson for future nanotech regulation. Thus, it would be important to consider (i) how stringent the regulations would be (ii) what examination standard to be used, (iii) how labelling are to be applied.

My previous post indicates that most people in Germany wants labelling, especially when it comes to the utilisation of nano in food industry. There will be a problem when the US impose lower labelling standard compared to EU, or vice versa.