Politicising Nanotechnologies

EurActiv had a nice summary of the positions of various organisations on the regukation of nanotechnologies which showed some very clear political splits. Trade Unions and environmental groups want tighter regulation/labelling or a moratorium while the chemical industry and other business regulations just seem wo want some clarity.

The political agenda is worth noting in the light of a piece in today’s Guardian, one of the left leaning UK daily newspapers. In an article exclusively about the military uses of microtechnology by the Pentagon, someone has deliberately added the headline ”

“Nanotechnology goes to war”

despite there being not one mention of nanotechnology in the entire article. Why? One can only conclude that an article about the military using smaller and faster electronics, something we all in fact do, wasn’t sufficiently interesting so the only way to get some attention was to concoct a link to something that would make its readers choke on their fairtrade organic tea. “The military are using nanotechnology, it’s outrageous, they must be stopped. Don’t open the door, they’ll ram GMOs & nanobots down your throat as soon as you open your mouth…etc”

Perhaps the saddest thing about both the EurActiv piece and the Guardian headline is that most positions on nanotechnology seem to have been taken along political lines (i.e if industry or the pentagon is doing it then it must be  bad) resulting in deliberate distortions of the facts.

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