New applications of nanotechnologies and nanomaterials are often associated with big market opportunities and high problem solving potential. This perception relates mostly to the segments of cosmetics, textiles, food and food packaging. At the same time, consumer and environmental organisations are critically watching these new technologies, as they imply near-to-body applications while their long-term effects and potential risks are still rather uninvestigated. The current discussion resembles earlier risk discourses, in particular the one on genetically modified food. The present paper pursues three aims: First, to give an overview of the development of consumers' perceptions concerning nanotechnologies in the past years; second, to identify challenges for an evidence-based consumer policy in the realm of nanotechnologies; and third, to propose and discuss possible options for consumer policy.
|Journal||Vierteljahrshefte zur Wirtschaftsforschung|
|Publication status||Published - 2009|