The U.K. Food Standards Agency (FSA) Board has reportedly agreed to maintain a confidential database of food industry research into nanotechnology, as well as a public registry of food and food packaging products that contain both approved nanomaterials and materials appearing to have nanoscale elements. “The way that we respond in terms of nanotechnology is a test case for the way we, as a regulator respond, to emerging and new technologies,” FSA Chief Scientist Andrew Wadge was quoted as saying.

According to media sources, FSA accepted the recommendations put forth in a House of Lords Science and Technology Committee report, which called on regulators to develop risk assessment procedures and prioritize research into the safety of nanotechnology. In making its assessment, the committee had apparently favored mandatory industry participation, claiming that a lack of transparency had previously led to public distrust of genetically modified crops. Additional details about this report appear in issue 332 of this Update. See, March 15, 2010; Meridian Nanotechnology and Development News, March 17, 2010.