Nanotechnologies and Food - Science and Technology Committee Contents



  Growing numbers of civil society groups have called for a moratorium on the commercial release of food, food packaging, food contact materials and agrochemicals that contain manufactured nanomaterials until nanotechnology-specific regulation is introduced to protect the public, workers and the environment from their risks. Some of these groups are also insisting that the public be involved in decision making. Groups calling for a moratorium include: Corporate Watch (UK); the ETC Group; Friends of the Earth (Australia, Europe and the United States); GeneEthics (Australia); Greenpeace International; International Centre for Technology Assessment (US); International Federation of Journalists; the Loka Institute; Practical Action; and The Soil Association UK. The International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers' Associations, representing 12 million workers from 120 countries, has also called for a moratorium.

The Nyéléni Forum for Food Sovereignty was a civil society meeting of peasants, family farmers, fisher people, nomads, indigenous and forest peoples, rural and migrant workers, consumers and environmentalists from across the world. Delegates were concerned that the expansion of nanotechnology into agriculture will present new threats to the health and environment of peasant and fishing communities and further erode food sovereignty. The forum also resolved to work towards an immediate moratorium on nanotechnology (Nyéléni 2007—Forum for Food Sovereignty 2007).

  The organic sector is also beginning to move to exclude nanomaterials from organic food and agriculture. The United Kingdom's largest organic certification body announced in late 2007 that it will ban nanomaterials from all products which it certifies. All organic foods, health products, sunscreens and cosmetics that the Soil Association certifies will now be guaranteed to be free from manufactured nanomaterial additives (British Soil Association 2008). The Biological Farmers of Australia, Australia's largest organic representative body, have also moved to ban nanomaterials from products it certifies.

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June 2009

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