Jennifer Kuzma: Be aware that nanotechnology is out there. It can have great benefits, but that there will be some risks inevitably.
That’s Jennifer Kuzma with the Center for Science, Technology, and Public Policy at the University of Minnesota. Kuzma studies the impact of nanotechnology – the engineering of materials at the atomic scale – on the food we eat. She’s an expert on nanotech regulation in the U.S.
Jennifer Kuzma: The current level of oversight is basically ‘stay the course’ – regulate them under existing laws.
Nowadays, you see the word ‘nano’ used in advertising. But products using that word may not be made with nanotechnology. Meanwhile, actual nanoproducts don’t need to be identified as such. Kuzma said that’s a problem.
Jennifer Kuzma: Nanoparticles, or nanomaterials can penetrate through tissues, biological systems, more readily – they can penetrate cells, the nuclei of some cells.
She thinks better consumer information is needed for products made with nanotechnology.
Jennifer Kuzma: You can’t currently get the information that you need to get in order to evaluate those risks and benefits and make your own informed choices.
Our thanks to:
Center for Science, Technology, and Public Policy
University of Minnesota
Jorge Salazar has conducted thousands of in-depth interviews with scientists in the process of creating science content for EarthSky. He also helps host the 90-second EarthSky podcasts. Jorge has a bachelor's degree in physics from the University of Texas at Austin. He knows a lot about a lot of different things. For EarthSky, he has explored subjects as diverse as nanotechnology, ecosystem-based management, climate change, global health, international environmental treaties, astrophysics and cosmology, and environmental security. His penetrating research style, poetic writing, and ability to track down and speak with Nobel prize-winning laureates, all make him a huge asset to EarthSky.