Consultation response on a legislative proposal concerning an action plan for the safe management of nanomaterials (SOU 2013:70)

In September 2013 a special committee appointed by the Swedish government presented a legislative proposal concerning an action plan for the safe management of nanomaterials. The 24th of March, 2014, the Swedish National Council on Medical Ethics gave its reflections on the action plan in a consultative response. Generally, the Council is positive towards the committee’s proposal. However, it finds some of the propositions especially important:

–        To substantially increase the funding of research and development, regarding methods for risk assessment, nanomaterials’ effects on human health and the environment, and on the ethical, legal and social implications of nanomaterials.
–         To continuously examine facts regarding nanomaterials’ negative effects on human health and the environment as well as their ethical and social aspects.
–         That knowledge on nanomaterials’ potential risks for health and environment and their ethical implications, are included in all Swedish programs of higher education concerning nanotechnology.
–         To take measures to promote communication between different stakeholders and agencies regarding advantages and potential risks with nanomaterials and nanotechnology.
–         That the Government and the agencies shall work for the adjustment of EU regulations when it comes to nanomaterials.
–         That the Swedish Chemicals Agency is given the mandate to examine how an obligation to leave information about nanomaterials to the Swedish Products Register can be realized and to examine what nano products that already exist on the market.
–         That a Nano Council and a Nano Centre are established in order to realise the action plan.

In the consultative report the Council stresses that ethical competence should be included in the proposed Nano Council and Nano Centre.