Nanotechnology in Food & Agriculture
A report prepared for Friends of the Earth Australia, Friends of the Earth Europe and Friends of the Earth United States and supported by Friends of the Earth Germany. 2nd edition April 2008 Written by Georgia Miller and Dr. Rye Senjen, Friends of the Earth Australia Nanotechnology Project. Withcontributions from Patricia Cameron, John Hepburn, Helen Holder, Guillermo Foladori, George Kimbrell, Aleksandra Kordecka, Kristen Lyons, Ian Iluminato, Arius Tolstoshev, Gyorgy Scrinis, Katja Vaupel, Jurek Vengels and many others. Design and layout by Natalie Lowrey firstname.lastname@example.org For an electronic copy of this report, or further brieﬁng papers from Friends of the Earth please refer to ourwebsites: Friends of the Earth Australia http://nano.foe.org.au Friends of the Earth Europe http://www.foeeurope.org/activities/ nanotechnology/index.htm Friends of the Earth Germany: http://www.bund.net/ Friends of the Earth United States http://www.foe.org/camps/comm/nanotech/ This is a report by FoE Australia, FoE Europe and FoE United States. Any mention of “FoE” in this report refers to theabove groups and not to FoE International
Australia, Europe and U.S.A
This report was funded by Friends of the Earth United States, Friends of the Earth Europe, Friends of the Earth Australia and Friends of the Earth Germany (BUND). Friends of the Earth Europe gratefully acknowledges ﬁnancial support from the European Commission’s DG Environment and the 31 national member groups of Friends ofthe Earth Europe. This report does not necessarily reﬂect the opinions of its funders. The European Commission and other funders cannot be held responsible for any further use that may be made of the information contained herein.
OUT OF THE LABORATORY AND ONTO OUR PLATES
Nanotechnology in Food & Agriculture
Executive Summary A short introduction to nanotechnology Nanotechnology enters thefood chain Nanotechnology and food processing Nanotechnology used for food packaging and food contact materials Nanotechnology used in agriculture Nanofoods and nano agrochemicals pose new health risks Nanofoods and nano agriculture pose new environmental risks Time to choose sustainable food and farming Nano-speciﬁc regulation required to ensure food safety The right to say no to nanofoodsRecommendations for sustainable food and farming Civil society groups are already taking action to keep food nano-free
Glossary Appendix A: List of agriculture and food products identiﬁed by FoE that contain manufactured nanomaterials Appendix B: Summary of EU regulations potentially applicable to nanofood and nano food packaging References
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In the absence of mandatory product labelling, public debate or laws to ensure their safety, products created using nanotechnology have entered the food chain. Manufactured nanoparticles, nano-emulsions and nano-capsules are now found in agricultural chemicals, processed foods, food packaging and food contact materials including food storage containers, cutlery andchopping boards. Friends of the Earth has identiﬁed 104 of these products, which are now on sale internationally. However given that many food manufacturers may be unwilling to advertise the nanomaterial content of their products, we believe this to be just a small fraction of the total number of products now available worldwide. Nanotechnology has been provisionally deﬁned as relating to materials,systems and processes which exist or operate at a scale of 100 nanometres (nm) or less. It involves the manipulation of materials and the creation of structures and systems at the scale of atoms and molecules, the nanoscale. The properties and effects of nanoscale particles and materials differ signiﬁcantly from larger particles of the same chemical composition. Nanoparticles can be more chemically...