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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Science & Research

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Critical Path Initiative Projects: Nanotechnology

Did You Know?

Nanotechnology is no small issue at FDA!  We are right in the midst of this fast evolving interdisciplinary field, sharing ideas and stimulating innovation.  FDA regulates a wide range of products (e.g., foods, cosmetics, drugs, devices, and veterinary products), some of which may use nanotechnology or contain nanomaterials.  In 2005, under the National Cancer Institute's (NCI's) Alliance for Nanotechnology in Cancer, a comprehensive initiative encompassing the public and private sectors and designed to accelerate the application of the best capabilities of nanotechnology to cancer, FDA and NCI joined forces under the nano-subcommittee of the Interagency Oncology Task Force (IOTF).  Under the IOTF umbrella, FDA, NCI, and now NIST, are leveraging resources and expertise to advance the field in the context of oncology.  Progress made through these efforts will no doubt affect progress in other pathologies.

Last August, at the Commissioner's request, FDA launched its own FDA Nanotechnology Task Force to identify and recommend ways to address knowledge or policy gaps to facilitate the safe and effective use of nanoengineered materials in FDA-regulated products.  The Task Force's first success was the public meeting held on nanotechnology on October 10, 2006.  A report from that meeting is due this coming summer.

FDA has also joined with and is helping to lead efforts with a number of other organizations and working groups (e.g., the International Standards Organization, the Nanoscale Science, Engineering, and Technology (NSET) Subcommittee, the Nanotechnology Environmental & Health Implications (NEHI) working group, the Nanotechnology Public Engagement WG (NPEG), and the Global Issues in Nanotechnology (GIN)).  Their goal is to explore the risks, interact with stakeholders, and help bridge any educational and policy gaps.

For more on what's been going on see the link below.