Center for Food Safety firstname.lastname@example.org
date: Thu, Jul 19, 2012 at 10:18 AM
Urge FDA to Regulate Nanotechnology
to Protect Consumer Health
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has a public comment period open through July 24th on the oversight of nanotechnology in food. Amazingly, the FDA currently does not regulate the use of nanotechnology in food, despite its widespread use, and serious public health concerns.
Already a wide variety of nanoscale applications in food packaging and processing are being developed. Yet, we know very little about the health effects of exposure to engineered nanomaterials, and what we do know, is cause for alarm.
Make your voice heard and urge FDA to regulate nanotechnology to protect consumer health.
To: Office of Food Additive Safety, U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
Re: Guidance for Industry on assessment of the effects of the incorporation of Engineered Nano-scale Materials (ENMs) in food ingredients (food substances and food contact surfaces) (Docket number: FDA-2011-D-0490)
It is shocking that FDA does not yet regulate the use of ENMs in food ingredients, given that nanomaterials are reportedly widely present in food ingredients and food contact substances. A 2012 National Research Council report found that “there is little progress” on research into the effect of oral consumption of engineered nanomaterials on human health. The FDA should commission, finance and publish such research as an urgent public health priority, and a basis for regulation.
The FDA’s draft guidance to industry should be a first step towards regulation to protect public health and the environment.
Neither FDA nor industry should assume a food ingredient at its macro-scale to be safe at the nano-scale, since we know that nanomaterials can behave completely differently than their bulk counterparts. These unique behaviors are what make nanotechnology so attractive to industry, but they also raise unique risks that must be addressed through unique regulation and oversight. The FDA should require those companies to submit data showing that their products are safe. Further, these safety assessments should be publicly available and the consultation process transparent.
All engineered nanomaterials used as food ingredients, food contact substances, and food colorants should be subject to a rigorous pre-market safety assessment. FDA should withdraw from the market all products shown to contain engineered nanomaterials as food ingredients that have not undergone the pre-market safety assessment and been shown to be safe for daily human consumption.