Slipping Through the Cracks: an Issue Brief on Nanomaterials in Foods

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Slipping Through the Cracks is designed to inform companies, investors, and consumers about the emerging use of engineered nanomaterials in food and food related products. It highlights the potential risks of nanotechnology for companies who are knowingly or unknowingly using it in their products and for public health.

As You Sow and other leading investors surveyed 25,000 food manufacturers and tested a range of popular donuts; the results of both inquiries proved that nanomaterials are currently being used in food products.

The majority of food companies have not been responsive in providing information about their specific uses, plans, and policies on this topic and no U.S. laws require disclosure. In addition, there are few, if any, studies adequately demonstrating the safety of nanoparticles in food additives or packaging. In fact, scientists are still investigating how the broad range of nanoparticles, with their myriad potential uses, will react in the body and what the appropriate testing methodologies are to determine this.

Slipping Through the Cracks presents:

  • A summary of the emerging usage of nanomaterials within the food industry and international policies and regulations
  • Analysis of our survey findings on the use of nanomaterials in food products, packaging, and supplements
  • Results and methodology of laboratory tests on currently available foods containing nanomaterials
  • Recommendations for companies, investors, and consumers interested in this issue

As You Sow has been engaging leading food companies on nanomaterials since 2008 and also released the groundbreaking Sourcing Framework for Food and Food Packaging Products Containing Nanomaterials in 2011.