Risk Assessment for Nano-Foods
Foods produced by nanotechnology should undergo specific risk assessment before being put on the European market and should not be included on the EU's list of novel foods (foods not on the market before May 1997) until then, according to Parliament's Environment Committee.
The Committee voted 4 May that food produced using nanotechnology should be excluded from the novel food list, and thus the EU market, until the possible health effects of nano production can be fully assessed.
An example of nanotechnology in food production is a wax-like nano-coating on fruits and vegetables to extend shelf life. It can also be used in salad dressings and sauces to make them pour more easily. Some of the world's largest food manufacturers - including European companies - are researching nanotechnology for food applications. But, according to the European Commission, there are currently no nano-foods on the EU market.
Kartika Liotard, a Dutch member of left-leaning GUE/NGL, who is steering the proposals through the EP said, "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."
Nanotech food must be assessed for risk
MEPs said foods produced by nanotechnology processes must remain excluded from the Community list until they have undergone specific and adequate risk assessments, and the possible health effects of materials at nano scale are better understood. The draft legislation on the authorisation of novel foods defines engineered nano-materials as having one or more dimensions less than 100 nm. All ingredients present in the form of nano-materials will need to be clearly indicated in the list of ingredients.
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