A White House Office of Science and Technology Policy memorandum issued to the heads of executive departments and agencies on June 9, 2011, requires federal agencies to regulate nanotechnology with a science-based approach that protects human health, safety and the environment. The memo also states that such regulations should not create unnecessary commercial barriers or hamper innovation.

The memo requires agencies to adhere to several principles, to the extent permitted by law, including, (i) basing decisions on the best available scientific evidence; (ii) providing sufficient flexibility in oversight and regulation to accommodate new evidence and learning on nanomaterials; (iii) developing relevant evidence in an open and transparent manner; (iv) actively communicating information to the public about the potential benefits and risks associated with specific uses of nanomaterials; (v) striving to reach an appropriate level of consistency in risk assessment and risk management across the federal government; (vi) seeking to coordinate with one another, with state authorities, and with stakeholders to address the breadth of issues, including health and safety, economic, environmental, and ethical issues; and (vii) encouraging coordinated and collaborative research across the international community and clearly communicating U.S. regulatory approaches and understanding to other nations.