FOEA Emerging tech Project
Another broken promise

Another broken promise

FSANZ fails to ensure the safety of foods containing nanomaterials

Emerging technologies and corporate control

Emerging technologies and corporate control

Read our special edition of FoEA's Chain Reaction magazine

IPCC needs to rethink its embrace of unproven technologies

Posted by on Nov 27, 2014 in Featured | Comments Off

IPCC needs to rethink its embrace of unproven technologies

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) embrace of geoengineering proposals, which began very tentatively with the release of their fourth assessment report last year, is beginning to shape up as a dangerous romance. The IPCC’s 2014 Synthesis Report, released earlier this month, provides the strongest support yet from the IPCC for technologies intended to remove carbon from the atmosphere and allow carbon polluting business as usual. Carbon capture and storage (CCS) is an extremely expensive, technically challenging and unproven...

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FSANZ fails to consider the safety of nanomaterials in food packaging review

Posted by on Nov 25, 2014 in Featured | Comments Off

FSANZ fails to consider the safety of nanomaterials in food packaging review

In a stunning example of regulatory capture and ignoring the precautionary principle when it comes to protecting human health, Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) has decided not to assess the risks of the chemical migration of nanomaterials into food because it doesn’t know enough about them. In a consultation paper for its review of chemical migration from packing into food, FSANZ argued that “the risks associated with CMPF [chemical migration from packaging in to food] from these packaging materials are not well defined and may...

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Nanomaterials in food packaging: FSANZ fails consumers again

Posted by on Oct 27, 2014 in Featured | Comments Off

Nanomaterials in food packaging: FSANZ fails consumers again

A recent Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) survey of packaging manufacturers and the food industry reveals that FSANZ is failing to protect consumers from the risks associated with the use of nanomaterials in food packaging. Nanomaterials are being increasingly used in food packaging – posing potential health risks – and yet to date FSANZ has taken no action to ensure these products are safe. FSANZ’s own summary of the responses to the survey, tabled in response to recent Senate Estimates questions, concludes that “the...

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194 countries call for the regulation of synthetic biology

Posted by on Oct 21, 2014 in Featured | Comments Off

194 countries call for the regulation of synthetic biology

In a unanimous decision of 194 countries, the United Nation’s Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) has formally urged nation states to regulate synthetic biology (synbio). The landmark decision follows ten days of hard-fought negotiations between developing countries and a small group of wealthy biotech-friendly economies. Until now, synthetic organisms have been developed and commercialised without international regulations and increasing numbers of synbio products are making their way to market. The CBD’s decision is regarded as a...

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Throwing precaution to the wind: the government’s attempts to thwart the regulation of synthetic biology

Posted by on Oct 14, 2014 in Featured | Comments Off

Throwing precaution to the wind: the government’s attempts to thwart the regulation of synthetic biology

Since it was first proposed that synthetic biology be looked at as a new and emerging issue under the Convention for Biological Diversity (CBD), the Australian Government − under both the ALP and the Coalition − has consistently attempted to destroy any prospect of international regulations governing this new and potentially dangerous technology. Doubtless their behaviour at the current Convention meeting (COP12) in South Korea will be no exception. Synthetic biology (synbio) is an extreme version of genetic engineering. Instead of swapping...

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