Representative Albert Wynn (D-MD) recently issued a statement indicating the House Environment and Hazardous Materials Subcommittee which Wynn chairs intends to hold hearings on what he has described as "serious gaps" in federal regulation concerning the potential EHS risks associated with certain nanoscale materials. Risk Policy Report indicates Wynn’s interest in the issue followed a "private meeting" with nanotechnology experts whom the Congressman declined to identify. Apparently, the Congressman also declined to explain to Risk Policy Report exactly what was discussed during the meeting.
The Congressman’s website indicates the meeting was a "forum on nanotechnology" which included "some of the leading environmental government and industry experts in the field." Whatever was said during the meeting greatly influenced Wynn. His official statement indicates "[t]he panel discussion confirmed that the existing statutory authorities are not capable of providing appropriate government oversight to address and minimize the risk of nanotechnology." Wynn’s statement directly contradicts prior position statements by EPA, FDA, CPSC, American Bar Association, and the Bush Administration (among others).
Let’s hope the experts Congressman Wynn met with are not the same ones clamoring for more "transparency" in the nanogovernance process. Additionally, Congressman Wynn should make sure any hearings are designed to relect the true diversity of opinions on this issue.