Thanks for Lynn L. Bergeson for her Dec. 1, 2012 posting on the Nanotechnology Now website for the information about a Nov. 28, 2012 webinar that was held to discuss a Nanotechnology Work Plan developed by the joint Canada-US Regulatory Cooperation Council (or sometimes it’s called the US-Canada Regulatory Cooperation Council),
The RCC requested that industry provide more information on the commercial distribution of nanomaterials, as well as more transparency by claiming confidentiality of only that information absolutely critical to market advantage.
To compare risk assessment and risk management practices to highlight and identify best practices, data gaps, and differences between the two jurisdictions, the RCC sought nominations of a nanomaterial substance for a case study. Four nanomaterial substances were nominated: multiwall carbon nanotubes, nanocrystalline cellulose, nano silver, and titanium dioxide. The RCC has selected multiwall carbon nanotubes for the case study. The RCC intends to hold in March 2013 a workshop in Washington, D.C., to discuss information collected to date and approaches moving forward. In spring 2013, the RCC will hold one or two conference calls or webinars to discuss information gathered between countries and the path forward. Finally, in fall 2013, the RCC expects to hold a stakeholder consultation/workshop on results to date.
Here’s some background on the RCC. First announced in February 2011, the RCC had its first ‘stakeholder’ session (attended by approximately 240) in January 2012 in Washington, DC. where a series of initiatives, including nanotechnology, were discussed (from the US International Trade Administration RCC Stakeholder Outreach webpage),
Agriculture and Food, Session A
- Perimeter approach to plant protection
Agriculture and Food, Session B
- Crop protection products
Agriculture and Food, Session C
- Meat/poultry – equivalency
- Meat/poultry – certification requirements
- Meat cut nomenclature
Agriculture and Food, Session D
- Veterinary drugs
- Zoning for foreign animal disease
Agriculture and Food, Session E
- Financial protection to produce sellers
Agriculture and Food, Session F
- Food safety – common approach
- Food safety – testing
Road Transport – Motor Vehicles
- Existing motor vehicle safety standards
- New motor vehicle safety standards
- Unmanned aircraft
- Intelligent Transportation Systems
- Dangerous goods means of transportation
- Safety and security framework & arrangement for the St. Lawrence Seaway & Great Lakes System
- Marine transportation security regulations
- Recreational boat manufacturing standards
- Standard for lifejackets
- Locomotive Emissions
- Rail Safety Standards
- Emission standards for light-duty vehicles
Personal Care Products & Pharmaceuticals
- Electronic submission gateway
- Over-the-counter products – common monographs
- Good manufacturing practices
Occupational Safety Issues
- Classification & labelling of workplace hazardous chemicals
Led jointly by senior officials from Canada and the United States, the purpose of the various technical review sessions was to seek expert advice and technical input from the approximately 240 stakeholders in attendance.
Since the Jan. 2012 meeting, a Nanotechnology Work Plan has been developed and that’s what was recently discussed at the Nov. 28, 2012 webinar. I did find more on a Canadian government website, Canada’s Economic Action Plan Nanotechnology Work Plan webpage,
Nanotechnology Work Plan
Canada Leads: Karen Dodds, Assistant Deputy Minister, Science and Technology Branch, Environment Canada (EC)
Hilary Geller, Assistant Deputy Minister, Healthy Environments and Consumer Safety Branch, Health Canada (HC)
U.S. Lead: Margaret Malanoski, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget
Deliverable Outcome: Share information and develop common approaches, to the extent possible, on foundational regulatory elements, including criteria for determining characteristics of concern/no concern, information gathering, approaches to risk assessment and management, etc. Develop joint initiatives to align regulatory approaches in specific areas such that consistency exists for consumers and industry in Canada and the US.
Principles: Identification of common principles for the regulation of nanomaterials to help ensure consistency for industry and consumers in both countries
Canada provides initial feedback on US “Policy Principles for the US Decision-Making Concerning Regulation and Oversight of Applications of Nanotechnology and Nanomaterials”.
Countries complete an initial draft of shared principles for the regulation of nanomaterials.
Update of draft principles informed from on-going stakeholder and expert consultations.
Stakeholder consultation / workshop on results to date and future ongoing engagement.
Beyond 18 months:
Countries complete final draft of shared principles for the regulation of nanomaterials.
Workplan for Industrial Nanomaterials
Priority-Setting: Identify common criteria for determining characteristics of industrial nanomaterials of concern/no-concern
- Define and finalize workplan (1st month)
- Develop mechanisms for stakeholder outreach and engagement (1st month)
- Conference call with relevant stakeholders to share and discuss workplan and call for Industry to volunteer nanomaterials for joint CAN/US review
Share available scientific evidence regarding characteristics of industrial nanomaterials including that obtained from existing international fora (e.g. OECD Working Party on Manufactured Nanomaterials [Canada is a lead in the OECD Working Party on Manufactured Nanomaterials]).
Stakeholder workshop to discuss information collected to date and approaches moving forward.
Initiate an analysis of characteristics of select nanomaterials: similarities, differences, reasons for them.
Initiate discussions on approaches to consider for common definitions and terminology.
Second conference call with relevant stakeholders to discuss non-CBI information gathered between the Countries and to discuss path forward in terms of development of reports and analyses.
Develop draft criteria for determining characteristics of industrial nanomaterials of concern/no-concern.
Third conference call with relevant stakeholders to discuss progress and to prepare for the upcoming stakeholder consultation/workshop.
Here’s information for the leads should you feel compelled to make contact,
(Lead) Karen Dodds, Assistant Deputy Minister, Science and Technology, Environment Canada ([email protected]; ph. 613- 819-934-6851)
Hilary Geller, Assistant Deputy Minister, Healthy Environments and Consumer Safety Branch ([email protected]; ph. 613-946-6701)
(Lead) Margaret Malanoski, Office of Management and Budget ([email protected])
I gather that the ‘stakeholders’ are business people, researchers, and policy analysts/makers as there doesn’t seem to be any mechanism for public consultation or education, for that matter.