Canada Joins Ban on Nano in Organics
Canada has banned nanotechnology in organic food production. An amendment was added to Canada’s national organic rules banning nanotechnology as a “Prohibited Substance or Method.”
The United States-based Organic Crop Improvement Association has added a clause to their organic standards to regulate the use of nanotechnology. Canada's national organic rules declared nanotechnology to be a "Prohibited Substance or Method", along with genetic engineering, synthetic pesticides, irradiation and cloned animals, among others.
Dag Falck, the organic program manager at Nature's Path Foods, said the reason for the ban was due to consumer concerns about nanotechnology, its incompatibility with organic principles, and because safety aspects of the technology are unknown. Falck said nanotechnology presents more potential problems than genetic engineering. "Genetic engineering is a definable science: splicing genes into crops. With nanotechnology there are at least 1000 different applications, all unregulated with unknown risks," he said.
However, banning nanotechnology in organic production presents challenges because it is already being used in some organic products such as pesticides.
The section in Canada's national organic rules where the amendment was addes lists substances or techniques that are prohibited in organic food production, including genetic engineering, synthetic pesticides, irradiation, and cloned animals, among others.
Canada joins several other countries that have either banned or proposed a ban on nanotechnology in organic including the United Kingdom’s Soil Association, Biological Farmers of Australia, and Austrian organic certifier Austria Bio Garantie. The USbased Organic Crop Improvement Association has added a clause in their organic standard to regulate the use of nanotechnology.
Dag Falck, organic program manager at Nature’s Path Foods, sponsored the comment banning nanotechnology in organics to the Canadian General Standards Board, which then voted for the ban.
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