Archives

July 18, 2012

FDA Bill Signed by President Includes Nanotechnology Provision

On July 9, 2012, President Barack Obama signed the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act (P.L. 112-144). The Act authorizes the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to collect user fees from industry to fund reviews of innovator drugs, medical devices, generic drugs, and biosimilar biologics. It also includes a section concerning nanotechnology, directing the Secretary of Health and Human Services to “intensify and expand activities related to enhancing scientific...
April 20, 2012

FDA Releases Draft Guidance Documents on Nanomaterials

On April 20, 2012, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced the availability of two draft guidance documents addressing the use of nanotechnology, “Guidance for Industry: Assessing the Effects of Significant Manufacturing Process Changes, including Emerging Technologies, on the Safety and Regulatory Status of Food Ingredients and Food Contact Substances, Including Food Ingredients that are Color Additives,” and “Guidance for Industry: Safety of Nanomaterials in...
December 29, 2011

Coalition Sues FDA Over Alleged Risks from Nanotechnology and Nanomaterials

A coalition of nonprofit consumer safety and environmental groups sued the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California on December 21, 2011.  The coalition is led by the International Center for Technology Assessment (ICTA), and includes Friends of the Earth, Food and Water Watch, the Center for Environmental Health, the ETC Group, and the Institute for Agricultural and Trade Policy. ICTA states that its lawsuit “demands” FDA...
October 11, 2011

Nanotechnology Regulatory Science Act of 2011 Introduced in Senate

On October 6, 2011, Senator Mark L. Pryor (D-AR) introduced the Nanotechnology Regulatory Science Act of 2011 (S. 1662), which is intended to address potential health and safety risks from products that contain nanotechnology materials. The bill would establish a program within the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to assess the health and safety implications of using nanotechnology in everyday products and develop best practices for companies using nanotechnology. The legislation would...
August 23, 2011

FDA Regulatory Science Plan Addresses Nanomaterials and Nanotechnology

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released on August 17, 2011, a document entitled Advancing Regulatory Science at FDA: A Strategic Plan. FDA states that its core responsibility is to protect consumers by applying the best possible science to its regulatory activities.  FDA notes that rapid advances in innovative science have provided new technologies to discover, manufacture, and assess novel medical products, and to improve food safety and quality. To keep pace with and use...
August 2, 2011

IATP Criticizes Development of Nanotechnology Products Without Regulatory Oversight

The Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) issued a June 29, 2011, report entitled Racing Ahead: U.S. Agri-Nanotechnology in the Absence of Regulation, which claims that at least 1,300 products with engineered nanotechnology materials (ENM) have been commercialized, “despite myriad uncertainties about the public health and environmental effects of ENMs.” According to the report, several steps are needed for an operative and mandatory regulatory structure for nanotechnology...
October 7, 2010

NIH and FDA Will Fund Research on Nanoparticles

In a September 27, 2010, press release, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced that it will award $9.4 million over three years to support four research projects in regulatory science.  NIH will make the awards in partnership with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which will contribute approximately $950,000.  According to the press release, the projects include research on nanoparticles and their characterization. NIH states that the projects were chosen “because...
August 27, 2010

FDA Will Hold Public Workshop on Medical Devices and Nanotechnology

On September 23, 2010, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will hold a public workshop entitled “Medical Devices & Nanotechnology: Manufacturing, Characterization, and Biocompatibility Considerations.” According to FDA, the purpose of the workshop is to obtain information on manufacturing, characterization, and biocompatibility evaluation of medical devices containing or using nanomaterials and nanostructures, including diagnostics. FDA is seeking input on these topics and...
July 26, 2010

Safe Cosmetics Act Would Allow FDA to Require Labeling of Nanomaterials

On July 20, 2010, Representative Janice Schakowsky (D-IL) introduced the Safe Cosmetics Act of 2010 (H.R. 5786), which would amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) “to ensure the safe use of cosmetics.” Under the bill, the Secretary of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) would: Regarding cosmetic and ingredient statements, the bill would require manufacturers to submit electronically a statement containing certain information, including “the ingredient list as it...
June 9, 2010

FDA Posts MAPP on Reporting Format for Nanotechnology-Related Information

On June 3, 2010, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER) Office of Pharmaceutical Science (OPS) posted on its website a Manual of Policies and Procedures (MAPP) entitled “Reporting Format for Nanotechnology-Related Information in CMC Review.” The purpose of the MAPP is to provide chemistry, manufacturing, and controls (CMC) reviewers within OPS with the framework by which relevant information about nanomaterial-containing drugs will now be...
March 12, 2010

FDA Responds to EWG’s Letter Concerning Sunscreen Guidelines

In a March 2, 2010 letter, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) responded to the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) July 15, 2009, letter concerning sunscreen guidelines. EWG criticized the FDA for not having guidelines for sunscreen safety and efficacy. According to EWG, companies continue to profit by misleading consumers about the protection offered by their products. EWG urged FDA to publish a final rule for its August 2007 draft sunscreen...
March 11, 2010

American Academy of Dermatology Annual Meeting Includes Presentation on Nanotechnology in Cosmetic Products

During the 68th annual meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology, on March 4, 2010, dermatologist Adnan Nasir, M.D., Ph.D., F.A.A.D., gave a presentation on nanotechnology and how nanoparticles may eventually be used in cosmetic products. According to Dr. Nasir, the cosmetic industry leads all other industries in the number of patents for nanoparticles, which have the potential to enhance sunscreens, shampoos, conditioners, lipsticks, eye shadows, moisturizers, deodorants, after-shave...
June 24, 2009

FDA Spokesperson Says Regulatory Authority Is Sufficient to Address Nanotechnology

According to a June 8, 2009, article, Dr. Annette McCarthy of the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition stated on June 6, 2009, at the Institute of Food Technologists’ annual meeting that the “regulatory authority is sufficient to address nanotechnology but there are further questions.” McCarthy recommended that petitions to the FDA seeking acceptance of a nanotech food additive or coloring should address its “impact on identity and...
May 1, 2009

PEN Report on Oversight of Next Generation Nanotechnology Recommends New Federal Agency

On April 28, 2009, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies (PEN) released a report entitled Oversight of Next Generation Nanotechnology, which calls for the creation of the Department of Environmental and Consumer Protection, which would oversee product regulation, pollution control and monitoring, and technology assessment. According to report author J. Clarence Davies, Ph.D., the agency would be primarily a scientific agency with a strong...
March 18, 2009

FDA Assessing Feasibility of Using Nanotechnology Test to Detect Anthrax Following a Bioterrorist Attack

On March 17, 2009, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that it has completed a “proof-of-concept” study of a test that “quickly and accurately detects the presence of even the smallest amount of the deadly anthrax toxin.” According to FDA, the proof-of-concept study relies on a nanotechnology-based test platform built from tiny molecular-sized particles. The europium nanoparticle-based immunoassay (ENIA) was able to detect the presence of a protein made by the...
March 12, 2009

FDA Announces Nanotechnology Collaboration

On March 10, 2009, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a collaboration with the Alliance for NanoHealth (ANH) and its members. According to FDA, the collaboration is intended to “help speed development of safe and effective medical products in the emerging field of nanotechnology.” Under a memorandum of understanding, FDA and ANH will work to increase the knowledge of how nanoparticles behave and affect biologic systems, and to facilitate the development of tests and...
March 4, 2009

FDA Panel States FDA Wants More Information before Issuing Guidance

During the February 18, 2009, Food and Drug Law Institute’s Second Annual Conference on Nanotechnology Law, Regulation, and Policy, Dr. Jonathan Sackner-Bernstein, Associate Center Director for Post-Market Operations at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH), stated that FDA will not issue guidance until companies bring products to them so that FDA can learn more about the effects of nanotechnology. Sackner-Bernstein acknowledged that the...
January 28, 2009

PEN Report Faults FDA Regulation of Nanotechnology-Based Dietary Supplements

On January 14, 2009, the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies (PEN) released a report entitled A Hard Pill To Swallow: Barriers to Effective FDA Regulation of Nanotechnology-Based Dietary Supplements, which describes problems at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in regulating nano-enabled dietary supplements and offers recommendations for improving oversight. According to the report, FDA’s ability to regulate the safety of such dietary supplements “is severely limited by lack of...
November 5, 2008

Consumers Union Petitions FDA to Require Safety Assessment on the Use of Nanoparticles

On October 30, 2008, Consumers Union petitioned the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to require a full safety assessment on the use of engineered nanoparticles, particularly in cosmetics, sunscreens, and sunblocks, and “to investigate possible enforcement action to ensure accurate labeling as to the presence or absence of nanoparticles.” Consumers Union cites new findings in the December 2008 issue of Consumer Reports, and states that the findings “confirm...
September 12, 2008

FDA Nanotechnology Meeting

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) held its publicized Public Meeting on Nanotechnology on Monday, September 8, 2008, near its main offices in Rockville, Maryland. The meeting consisted of a plenary session led by Dr. Norris Alderson, Co-Chair of the FDA Nanotechnology Task Force, followed by separate breakout sessions for prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) drugs, cosmetics, medical devices, food and color additives (including food contact substances), and...
August 21, 2008

Federal Agencies Will Hold Workshop on Enabling Standards for Nanomaterial Characterization

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) will hold an October 8-9, 2008, workshop regarding enabling standards for nanomaterial characterization.  According to the workshop overview, there is an “urgent need” to elevate new protocols and practices for characterizing the physicochemical properties of nanomaterials, and their in vitro and in vivo properties with respect to biological systems, to that of internationally accepted standards to accelerate research,...
August 11, 2008

FDA Announces Public Meeting on Nanoscale Materials

In an August 7, 2008, Federal Register notice, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that it will convene a public meeting on September 8, 2008, on FDA-regulated products that may contain nanoscale materials. According to the Federal Register notice, FDA also is seeking public comments and available data “that will assist [FDA] in further implementing the recommendations of the Nanotechnology Task Force Report . . . relating to the...
December 18, 2007

FDLI and PEN Will Cosponsor First Annual Conference on Nanotechnology Law, Regulation, and Policy

The Food and Drug Law Institute (FDLI) and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies (PEN) will hold a conference on February 28-29, 2008, on “Nanotechnology Law, Regulation and Policy.” Questions addressed during the conference will include:...
November 16, 2007

Bush Administration Releases Principles for Nanotechnology Environmental, Health, and Safety Oversight

On November 8, 2007, the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) issued a memorandum regarding “Principles for Nanotechnology Environmental, Health, and Safety Oversight.” According to the memorandum, OSTP and CEQ “led a multi-agency consensus-based process” to develop principles intended to guide the development and implementation of policies for nanotechnology environmental, health, and safety oversight at the agency...
August 24, 2007

FDA Releases Proposed Rule Regarding Sunscreens

Yesterday the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a proposed rule that would amend the final monograph for over-the-counter (OTC) sunscreen drug products as part of FDA’s ongoing review of OTC drug products. The proposed rule addresses formulation, labeling, and testing requirements for both ultraviolet B (UVB) and ultraviolet A (UVA) radiation protection, would introduce four-star rating system for the level of UVA protection, and would require a warning...
June 5, 2007

July Issue of Consumer Reports Includes Article on Nanotechnology

The July 2007 issue of Consumer Reports includes an article entitled “NANOtechnology: Untold Promise, Untold Risk.” According to Consumer Reports, while nanotechnology “promises to be the most important innovation since electricity and the internal combustion engine,” “some applications might pose substantial risks to human health and the environment.” The article states that nanomaterials are already being used in consumer products such as car wax,...
March 22, 2007

Senate Requests GAO Review of NNI

In a March 15, 2007, letter, the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation and the Congressional Nanotechnology Caucus requested that the Government Accountability Office (GAO) review the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI), which was created to accelerate the discovery, development, and deployment of nanoscale science and technology. For fiscal year 2006, NNI received $1.2 billion in research and development funding, and 22 federal agencies, including the...