Environmental Defense press conference, Foresight response

In today’s San Francisco Chronicle, Keay Davidson describes an Environmental Defense press conference calling for more testing of nanomaterials, and Foresight’s response:

“Despite their cautionary tone, the Environmental Defense speakers’ remarks were welcomed Wednesday by Christine Peterson, vice president of public policy at the best-known institutional defender of nanotechnology, the Foresight Nanotech Institute in Palo Alto. On Oct. 22-27, the organization is hosting an international nanotech conference at the San Francisco Airport Marriott in Burlingame.

” ‘Chunks of matter in the nanoscale-size range can indeed have substantial new properties, which can both be used for impressive new applications and could potentially cause problems,’ Peterson said in an e-mail Wednesday. ‘Early research seems to indicate that we may be able to learn to design these particles to control how they behave in various environments.’

“However, ‘what is definitely clear today is that we need more data,’ Peterson said. ‘Foresight (Institute) joins Environmental Defense and (the) DuPont (Corp.) in calling for substantial increases in federal funding for these studies. … The benefits to health and the environment will eventually be tremendous, so it’s important to keep pushing.’ “

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