LONDON A consultation process on seven principles of responsible practice for organizations working in the area of nanotechnologies has been launched in the U.K.
The ‘Responsible NanoCode’ has been drafted by a working group established by the Royal Society, Insight Investment, the Nanotechnology Industries Association and the Nanotechnology Knowledge Transfer Network.
The working group also includes representatives from companies, scientists, governments, non governmental organisations and trade unions including the chemical company BASF, Unilever, Smith & Nephew, the consumer group Which?, the development NGO Practical Action and the trade union Amicus.
The aim of the ‘Responsible NanoCode’ is to establish an international consensus on what constitutes good practice and to provide guidance on what organisations and businesses can do to demonstrate they are responsibly managing them while the need for further regulation is being evaluated.
It is hoped that the voluntary code will contribute to ensuring nanotechnologies achieve their full potential in delivering health, environmental, social and economic benefits at a time when businesses are dealing with technical, social, regulatory and commercial uncertainties concerning these relatively new technologies.
Lord Selborne, chair of the working group, said, “We are looking to receive input on the draft code from a broad range of organisations and individuals from around the world. We would also like organisations to tell us whether they would actually adopt such a code, how they could be encouraged to do so and how to best evaluate whether those who do sign up are adhering to its principles.”
More information and a complete draft copy of the code is available.
The consultation will run until Nov 12 and organizations or individuals interested in being involved can e-mail their comments.