European Parliament votes to regulate nanofoods

European Parliament votes to regulate nanofoods

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Novel Foods: Risk Assessment for Nano-Foods

Source: European Parliament

The European Union (EU) Parliament’s Environment Committee voted May 4, 2010 that food produced using nanotechnology should be excluded from the EU’s list of novel foods — foods not on the market before May 1997 — thereby prohibiting foods containing nanomaterials from being sold on the EU market.

Furthermore, it requires that foods produced using nanotechnology should undergo a specific risk assessment to determine possible health effects, before being put on the European market. According to the European Commission, there are currently no nano-foods on the EU market, but some of the world’s largest manufacturers of food — including European companies — are researching nanotechnology for food applications.

According to Kartika Liotard, a Dutch member of the left-leaning Confederal Group of the European United Left/Nordic Green Left (GUE/NGL), “…we have insisted that no food products made by nanotechnology or containing nanoparticles will be put on the market unless they have undergone a validated risk assessment and are proven to be safe.” A vote in plenary is scheduled for July.

The article can be viewed online here.

Also see article from the Ecologist with comments from our Friends of the Earth colleague in the UK.

For more information about nanotechnology and food, see our report “Out of the Laboratory and On To Our Plates.”