A Review of the Adequacy of New Zealand’s Regulatory Systems to Manage the Possible Impacts of Manufactured Nanomaterials
Gavaghan, Colin; Moore, Jennifer
This report presents an independent review of the adequacy of New Zealand’s regulatory frameworks in dealing with manufactured nanomaterials (mNMs). In particular, it considers how regulatory oversight is triggered for mNMs, and identifies the existence of some potential regulatory gaps (a somewhat contested term which we discuss below). This project was completed by staff of the New Zealand Law Foundation Centre for Law and Policy in Emerging Technologies, Otago University, over the period March to December 2010. Our approach has closely followed that adopted in the report conducted by staff at Monash University in 2007, regarding Australia’s regulatory frameworks. In many ways, our overall conclusions are similar to those of the Monash Report, and indeed to other reports in this area. None of the areas of the New Zealand regulatory system that we have considered require wholesale changes in order to be applicable to mNMs. The regulatory mechanisms applicable to conventional products will, in broad terms, apply to mNMs, and to products containing and incorporating such products (though a possible gap was identified where the product actually creates nanoparticles, subsequent to sale.) In those areas where regulatory coverage is comprehensive for conventional products, it will usually be comprehensive for mNMs. The corollary, of course, is that areas of weakness in the regulatory frameworks will provide areas of weak regulation for mNMs too. We have, however, identified a number of possible regulatory gaps or weaknesses that are more specific to products containing mNMs. Our approach has distinguished between gaps that appear to occur at different levels: respectively, at the level of legislation, at the level of regulatory policy, and at the level of compliance and enforcement. The options for addressing those gaps will often depend upon which of these categories they are considered to fall within.
Publisher: Faculty of Law, University of Otago
Keywords: regulation of nanotechnology; nanomaterial; nanotechnology
Research Type: Commissioned Report for External Body
The full text is available here: http://www.academyconferences.com/pdf/nznanoreview.pdf