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April 25, 2007

Few Submissions Made Under UK’s Voluntary Reporting Scheme

Lynn L. Bergeson

On April 3, 2007, the United Kingdom’s (UK) Department of Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) released its second quarterly update on the Voluntary Reporting Scheme (VRS) for engineered nanoscale materials. According to the update, DEFRA has received a total of six submissions since VRS’s launch in September 2006, four of which were from industry and two from academia. DEFRA has liaised with groups representing the UK nanotechnologies industry and has made direct contact with companies involved in the sector. From these contacts, DEFRA believes that “a number of VRS submissions are being prepared and will be delivered” in the near future. During discussions with industry, DEFRA sought feedback on VRS, and industry raised the following issues: uncertainty regarding the scope of VRS; resources; and confidentiality issues. The next update will be published in June 2007.