Nanotechnology project

Australia's permissive wait-and-see approach to nanoparticles is treating consumers like guinea pigs.
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  • Updated:4 Jan 2010

01 .A 'small' problem


Some cosmetics, such as sunscreen and make-up, use nano-sized ingredients that may pose health risks. You can’t tell which products contain nanoparticles, however, as it’s not required by law to be written on the labels. Nanotechnology can be used to make chocolate look better and coat knives in antibacterial silver nanoparticles. But such usage hasn’t necessarily been tested for safety.

What we want

When it comes to nanotechnology, we want its introduction into the food chain and everyday products to be evidence based, while at the same time ensuring any investment of public money in nanotechnology goes towards uses that provide real benefit for consumers.

CHOICE firmly believes the onus should be on manufacturers to prove efficacy and safety, not on consumers to prove harm. We must take a precautionary approach for the sake of our health and the environment. CHOICE has a strong history of protecting consumer safety, and we’re determined to fight for a better system of checks and balances for nanotechnology use. Australia’s current permissive, wait-and-see approach, using consumers as guinea pigs, is simply not good enough.



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What we're doing

CHOICE is currently writing a submission to NICNAS (the National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme). NICNAS has proposed some reform to nanotechnology regulation. You can read more about the proposal here. And if you want to make suggestions for our submission, please send us an email .

We recently made a submission to NETS (the National Enabling Technologies Strategy). You can read our submission here.

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