Food industry scientists are busy applying what they know about unique new properties of elements at the nano-scale to develop new food technologies. Consumers Union and others stressed in an FDA hearing, that what works in the lab, may not be ready for the dinner table.
Food industry scientists are busy applying what they know about unique new properties of elements at the nano-scale to develop . Consumers Union and others stressed in an FDA hearing that what works in the lab may not be ready for the dinner table.
Nano materials are substances that are engineered at molecular levels, generally less than 100 nanometers. You could place about 100,000 nanometer sized objects side-to-side on a single human hair. Nano carbon tubes are being used in tennis rackets, golf clubs and vehicles where ultra light, ultra strong materials are a plus. Silver, gold and other common elements may reflect light differently, exhibit different electro magnetic properties or are reactive with other substances at the nano scale. The estimates there are 300 some odd products on the market using nano technology.
The same properties that make nano materials valuable could also present novel risks to human health and the environment. The potential for unknown risks prompted the Federal Food and Drug Administration to hold a series of hearings to assess their role in protecting consumers from unintended risks associated with the use of nano materials in the foods, drugs and cosmetics the FDA regulates.
Consumers Union strongly urged the FDA to develop risk assessment and labeling procedures for foods, drugs, and cosmetics where human consumption or direct exposure to nano materials is likely.