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Much Ado About Nothing? … Or the 'Sand Witch?'

In this communiqué, the ETC Group, a Canadian non-governmental organisation and critic of nanotechnology, illustrates the lack of regulation and risk evaluation in the implementation of nanotechnologies.

Following a forest fire in the United States, a soil-stabilising nanotechnology product was sprayed over 1,400 acres (567 hectares) of mountainside, in order to limit erosion and protect the local community's water supply. The group say that a field test of the same product showed that as well as limiting erosion, it affected biodiversity — preventing the emergence of native plants.

The ETC Group says the technology was implemented with limited scrutiny. They call upon scientists to propose 'best practices' for nanotechnology research and for governments to develop regulations transparently based on the group's recommendations and public debate.

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