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

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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Religious right fights corporate right in patent stoush

Posted by on Jul 16, 2014 in Featured | Comments Off

Religious right fights corporate right in patent stoush

Good news of sorts on the patent front. After decades of expansive interpretations of patent law to include patents on pretty much anything, including life, knowledge and ideas; after decades of governments supporting expansion of intellectual property protections for the benefit of corporations, we have a small step in the other direction. In two recent, rulings the conservative US Supreme Court has limited the scope of patents, rejecting patents on metabolite levels and DNA sequences, holding that these exist in nature and are not subject...

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The use of techno-utopian narratives to further corporate control

Posted by on Jul 2, 2014 in Featured | Comments Off

The use of techno-utopian narratives to further corporate control

Techno-utopianism (n.) − any ideology based on the belief that advances in science and technology will eventually bring about a utopia, or at least help to fulfil one or another utopian ideal. It is tempting to dismiss techno-utopian views as the realm of fringe dwellers − largely irrelevant to the workings of the world. After all, techno-utopianism has been around an awfully long time with not a lot of utopia to show for it. The view that technology will solve all political, social and environmental problems and save us from ourselves is a...

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