A poll of 1010 people comes as a wake-up call to Australia’s food safety regulator, showing that Australians overwhelmingly want a higher level of risk assessment and transparency in labelling of nano ingredients in food and food packaging. 96% of Australians want safety checks on manufactured nanoparticle additives and ingredients added to food or food packaging and 92% support mandatory labelling of nano ingredients in food and packaging. Only 15% of Australians said that they would be prepared to purchase nanofoods.
The Australian Government has issued its long awaited response to the recommendations of the 2005-06 Senate Inquiry into workplace exposure to toxic dust and nanoparticles. Disappointingly, the Government ignored 2 of the 3 key recommendations. These include recommendations to take practical action to close the legal loopholes that leave commercial use of many nanomaterials effectively unregulated, and to support widespread public consultation on what measures are necessary to safely manage the health risks of occupational exposure to nanomaterials.
For the first time, food companies will have to declare to Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) when their products contain nanotechnology ingredients, additives, food processing aids or contaminants that could pose new toxicity risks, if the regulator’s proposed new standards are approved. But Friends of the Earth Australia is concerned that the new standards will neither keep unsafe nano ingredients out of foods, nor require labelling to give people a choice about whether or not to eat nanofoods.
Center for American Progress and Science Progress Senior Fellow Rick Weiss explains why the US FDA’s failure to act on nanofoods puts public health at risk. The original article "Nanoparticles get nanoregulation" is found at: http://www.scienceprogress.org/2008/09/nanoparticles-get-nanoregulation/