Minn. organization sues FDA over nanotech regulation

A Minnesota organization is suing the Food and Drug Administration over regulation of nanotechnology.

The Minneapolis-based Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy is one of a half-dozen groups that filed suit in federal court this week.

The lawsuit claims the FDA has failed to adequately regulate the use of nano materials in consumer products like sunscreen, cosmetics and food packaging. Nanotechnology is the science of creating structures at the molecular level.

"It's definitely a consumer safety issue," said Steve Suppan, an analyst for the group. "I think if the FDA actually takes steps to regulate products and then label them, it will become a consumer awareness issue."

It's important that the FDA use science to prove the nano materials are safe, Suppan said.

"Otherwise, there will be no basis for consumer confidence except for the agencies' and companies' [word]," Suppan said.

The lawsuit asks the federal court to force the FDA to begin regulating nano materials in consumer products under the agencies authority.

An FDA spokesperson said the agency does not comment on litigation.

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