Nanotechnologies are the next technological revolution. The technical characteristics that distinguish them are their capacity to produce new materials and their ability to give known materials new functions. This unique, near-alchemist character of these technologies allows them to be applied to almost any economic sector. This leads to potentially devastating impacts on old technologies and products, so that we are bound to see huge economic and social changes in the coming years. This article looks at the position on nanotechnologies adopted by the International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers' Associations (IUF), within the context of the current debate on the social and economic implications of these new technologies and the potential environmental and health risks posed by them. The IUF´s resolution has considerable political weight due to the organization´s global scope, as it represents nearly 12 million workers from more than 120 countries. Its importance also lies in its clearly stating the specific interests of workers faced with nanotechnology development.
Guillermo Foladori and Noela Invernizzi
May 28, 2007