On May 1, 2012, President Barack Obama signed an Executive Order (EO) entitled “Promoting International Regulatory Cooperation,” which is intended to ensure that differing regulatory approaches taken by foreign governments do not unnecessarily limit the ability of American businesses to export and compete internationally. EO 13563, which Obama signed on January 18, 2011, states that the U.S. regulatory system must protect public health, welfare, safety, and the environment while promoting economic growth, innovation, competitiveness, and job creation. The May 1, 2012, EO calls for the Regulatory Working Group established by Executive Order 12866, and reaffirmed by EO 13563, to serve as a forum to discuss, coordinate, and develop a common understanding among agencies of U.S. government positions and priorities with respect to: international regulatory cooperation activities that are reasonably anticipated to lead to significant regulatory actions; efforts across the federal government to support significant, cross-cutting international regulatory cooperation activities; and promotion of good regulatory practices internationally, as well as the promotion of U.S. regulatory approaches, as appropriate.


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March 11, 2011, memorandum from the White House Emerging Technologies Interagency Policy Coordination Committee (ETIPC) sets forth the Obama Administration’s principles for regulation and oversight of emerging technologies, including nanotechnology. The ETIPC Co-Chairs include John P. Holdren, Assistant to the President for Science and Technology, Director, Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP); Cass R. Sunstein, Administrator, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), Office of Management and Budget (OMB); and Islam A. Siddiqui, Chief Agricultural Negotiator, U.S. Trade Representative.


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The Switzerland State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) has posted a December 21, 2010, guidance document for preparing safety data sheets (SDS) for synthetic nanomaterials. Safety Data Sheet (SDS): Guidelines for Synthetic Nanomaterials is intended to demonstrate the information necessary to ensure the safe handling of nano-objects and products that contain nano-objects; offer assistance on how the relevant information can be identified and in which form and which place they are to be listed in the SDSs; and contribute to making employees of companies that produce or process synthetic nano-objects aware of the particular properties of these materials. The Guidelines, which are limited to “specifically manufactured (i.e. synthetic) nano-objects which are nano-sized in two or three dimensions (i.e. nano-fibres or nano-particles),” include two fictitious examples of SDSs for synthetic nanomaterials. The Guidelines supplement the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) document entitled The Safety Data Sheet in Switzerland.


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On May 19, 2008, the Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) posted its sixth quarterly report on the Voluntary Reporting Scheme (VRS) for engineered nanoscale materials. According to the report, DEFRA received no new submissions this quarter, and to date has received only nine submissions since the VRS’s launch in September 2006:  seven from

On March 12, 2008, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) released a supplementary guidance document for the Voluntary Reporting Scheme (VRS). DEFRA prepared the supplementary guidance document to complement the existing VRS guidance. Chapter 2 describes the rationale and benefits of the VRS. Chapter 3 provides a specific list of the relevant physical, chemical,

According to the December 22, 2007, fifth quarterly report for the Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs’ (DEFRA) Voluntary Reporting Scheme (VRS) for engineered nanoscale materials, DEFRA received no new submissions since publication of the previous quarterly report in September 2007. DEFRA is in the process of updating the VRS documentation to clarify the purpose

On December 19, 2007, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) published a report entitled Characterising the Potential Risks Posed by Engineered Nanoparticles: A Second UK Government Research Report, which follows up on DEFRA’s 2005 report and 2006 progress report. The report reviews the status of research pertaining to the environmental, health, and safety

According to the fourth quarterly report for the UK’s Voluntary Reporting Scheme (VRS) for Manufactured Nanomaterials, the Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) received no new submissions during the most recent quarter. Since the VRS began in September 2006, DEFRA has received a total of nine submissions, seven from industry and two from academia. In