Dr David Jukes, The University of Reading, UK

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Food Law News - EU - 2017

Commission Consultation, 15 September 2017

NANOMATERIALS - Commission roadmap consultation: Revision of Commission Recommendation 2011/698/EU on the definition of nanomaterial

The Commission has published a draft roadmap entitled 'Revision of Commission Recommendation 2011/698/EU on the definition of nanomaterial'. The following is the initial section of the draft roadmap. The full draft Roadmap is available on this site. The consultation closes on the 13 October 2017. For more details, see:

Context and basic terms: nanotechnology, nanomaterial and nanomaterial definition

Nanotechnology is a key enabling technology (KET), providing the basis for further innovation and new products ( Nanotechnology employs nanomaterials – materials manipulated at very small scale that have new or enhanced properties compared to the same material at bigger scale. Some nanomaterials, compared to any other material or product even when made of the same chemical, may have different (positive or negative) environmental impacts or interact with the biosphere in a specific way, e.g., reaching different cells and organs. The area of nanomaterials is developing very dynamically with rapid progress in technology, new materials and information generated in need to be assessed under different regulatory schemes. Specific regulatory provisions targeting nanomaterials therefore appear inevitable.

The Commission Recommendation on the definition of nanomaterial 2011/696/EU provides a common reference to which different regulations are expected to refer to, providing consistency and coherent implementation across different regulatory domains. The Recommendation foresees a review1 of the definition three years after its adoption. In particular, the review has to look at issues where there was incomplete information at the time of adoption.

The Commission is expected to make use of the revised EU nanomaterial definition when preparing amendments to REACH Annexes on the registration of nanomaterials (2014/ENV+/013) and when updating the definitions used in other EU law referring to nanomaterials.

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