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

Review of nanomaterials in agriculture highlights multiple risks and uncertainties

Posted by on Sep 22, 2014 in Featured | Comments Off

Review of nanomaterials in agriculture highlights multiple risks and uncertainties

A recent review looking at the interactions between engineered nanomaterials and agricultural crops and the implications for food safety paints a disturbing picture of an industry that may be exposing us to serious health and environmental problems. The review discusses a range of studies that identify or suggest impacts of engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) on food plants and concludes there are potentially serious implications for food safety and quality. The review concludes that: “Many details of ENMs-crop interactions remain poorly...

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Australian court hands biotech company a patent on life

Posted by on Sep 11, 2014 in Featured | Comments Off

Australian court hands biotech company a patent on life

“A naturally occurring DNA segment is a product of nature and not patent eligible merely because it has been isolated.” These are the first words in a 2013 US Supreme Court decision regarding a patent on the human BRCA 1 gene – a product of nature that has been isolated. Last week the Australian Federal Court ruled that the same patent was valid  – directing contradicting the Supreme Court decision. The Federal Court’s ruling – on a number of fronts – appears to broaden patent law to further entrench the system...

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New study shows nanoparticles in sunscreen may harm marine life

Posted by on Aug 29, 2014 in Featured | Comments Off

New study shows nanoparticles in sunscreen may harm marine life

A new study shows that nanoparticles of titanium dioxide (TiO2) and zinc oxide in sunscreen can react with sunlight to harm phytoplankton. Phytoplankton are microscopic marine plants and an important food source for small fish, shrimp, and whales. Phytoplankton are the basis of the entire marine food chain. These results, coupled with recent research suggesting that nano titanium dioxide could harm coral, raise serious questions about the impact nanoparticles in sunscreen are having on Australian marine life. These ingredients should never...

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Government survey confirms dismal state of food packaging regulation in Australia

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

Government survey confirms dismal state of food packaging regulation in Australia

A recent Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) survey of packaging manufacturers and the food industry reveals that Food Standards Australia New Zealand are failing to protect consumers from the risks associated with the use of nanomaterials in food packaging. FSANZ’s own summary of the survey, tabled in response to recent Senate Estimates questions, concludes that “the standards in the [Food Standards] Code are ‘largely irrelevant’” and that “Australia is viewed as not having any legislation for packaging in contact with food”....

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Nano zinc in sunscreen may be made more dangerous when combined with common household chemicals

Posted by on Jul 30, 2014 in Featured | Comments Off

Nano zinc in sunscreen may be made more dangerous when combined with common household chemicals

While concerns have been raised about the safety of nano-zinc, current government advice is that there is insufficient evidence for it to be considered dangerous. Now a new study reported on the ABC has suggested that when nano-zinc is mixed with surfactants — a common class of chemical found in detergents, shampoos, and pharmaceutical products — the combined effect can be more toxic than nano-zinc alone. Louise Sales, nano-campaigner at environment group Friends of the Earth said the study sounds a warning. “Many studies looking at the...

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