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January 15, 2009

NGOs Call for Obama Administration to Establish Moratorium on Pesticidal Nanotechnology

Lynn L. Bergeson

According to a draft January 7, 2009, document, non-governmental organizations (NGO) such as Beyond Pesticides and the Pesticide Action Network for North America recommend that the Obama Administration take a number of immediate actions within its first 100 days, including establishing a moratorium on pesticidal nanotechnology. The NGOs call for the suspension of the registration of nanoproducts with pesticidal properties, and the removal of untested products from the market.  The NGOs urge the Obama Administration to direct the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to develop a clear testing protocol that identifies the full range of potential adverse health and environmental effects of nanoproducts with pesticidal properties. The NGOs cite the 60-day comment period on the International Center for Technology Assessment (ICTA) petition as an acknowledgment by EPA of “the critical need for in-depth review of products utilizing nanotechnology pesticides.” ICTA petitioned EPA in May 2008 to regulate nanoscale silver products as pesticides under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA).