FDA cautioned to better regulate nanomaterials

A public hearing called by the FDA turned into a forum to criticize the agency for what was described as a lax attitude toward regulating the nanomaterials being used in new therapies and consumer products. Some of the FDA's harshest critics say that the FDA has become a cheerleader for nanotechnology instead of a watchdog for potentially hazardous products. Others noted that a variety of nanobio products have been incorporated into new therapies with little or nothing being done to track safety. And some cautioned that the FDA needs to do a better job of managing risk without throttling the field with over-regulation. The FDA has become something of a punching bag since the IOM released its report calling for wholesale reform of the agency. And each new criticism is adding pressure for significant change.

"New nano-enabled drugs and medical devices...place burdens on an oversight agency that is already stretched extremely thin," David Rejeski, director of the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies, told the forum.

- Here's Newsweek's report on the FDA