Following the written comments which the Nanotechnology Industries Association (NIA) submitted to the UK House of Lords enquiry on Nanotechnologies and Food, Dr Steffi Friedrichs, Director of the NIA, was invited as a witness to give evidence in front of the House of Lords Science and Technology Select Committee I.
The hearing commenced on the question of a ‘suitable definition’ for nanotechnologies and nanomaterials. Dr Friedrichs noted that ‘the purpose for which we are seeking a definition is the one that always needs to be mentioned when a definition is being sought; without that definitions can be quite detrimental and misleading...a definition for risk assessment needs to be very different from a definition for technology and innovation. And the problem that we have at the moment is that we are dealing with a number different definitions on a number of different levels’.
‘Another aspect is that when we then go into the public domain and talk about a definition...reports by NGOs or by consumer associations about the understood or perceived presence of nanotechnologies in consumer products...are quite often using different definitions form the ones that the industry is using...they are both saying the same thing, they are just not agreeing on the same definition. So, my appeal would be to always disclose the definition one is using for any discussion up front, so that any misunderstanding...can be avoided’.
Follow these links to watch the full webcast of the hearing.