A call for more transparency and research funding for nanotechnology in the food industry
The UK House of Lords Science and Technology Committee today released its first report of session 2009-10 “Nanotechnologies and Food” where they criticized the food industry for “failing to be transparent about its research into the uses of nanotechnologies and nanomaterials.” It calls on the UK Food Standards Agency to maintain a publicly available register of food and food packaging containing materials. The report further calls on the UK Research Councils to “establish more proactive forms of funding to encourage research bids which address the severe shortfalls in research required for the effective risk assessment of nanomaterials in food,” especially research on the behavior of nanomaterials within the body and gut.
The Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies submitted written evidence to the House of Lords inquiry, and met with members of the Sub-committee working on the report in June 2009. A number of recommendations from the Project on Emerging Technologies are reflected in the final report, including the need to establish a public database containing information on nanotechnology food products, and the need for greater research efforts to understand the behavior of engineered nanomaterials in the gut.
The House of Lords report is available at http://www.parliament.uk/hlscience