Our new report, Way too little, looks at the now widespread presence of nanomaterials in our food chain and how little Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) is doing to ensure our safety.
What we have found is shocking. There has been a dramatic increase in the use of nanomaterials in food, food additives, supplements, food packaging, food contact materials and agricultural chemicals. At the same time there is a growing body of peer-reviewed evidence that certain nanomaterials may pose risks to human health.
For example, one of the most common nanomaterials used in food is nano titanium dioxide (TiO2). This is used as a whitener and brightener in a range of foods, including lollies, chewing gum and doughnuts. Children between the age of 2 and 4 have been found to have the highest exposure levels. Animal studies using nano titanium dioxide show that it can damage DNA, disrupt the function of cells, interfere with the immune system, cross the intestinal tract and cause organ damage.
Food products containing nano titanium dioxide quite simply shouldn’t be on the market unless the manufacturers can demonstrate that it is safe.
We’re all being exposed through a bewildering number of unlabelled products. This includes not only foods, but edible nano packaging, edible nano coatings on fruits, coatings on cutting boards and kitchen surfaces, dishwashers, fridges, baby bottles, cutlery, plastic food containers and vitamins and other supplements.
Ten years after the UK Royal Society called for regulation of nanotechnology, FSANZ has still failed to take even basic steps to regulate the use of nanomaterials in food. They don’t know what nanomaterials are in food and food contact products, where they are being used – and do not require even basic safety testing – raising serious health concerns.
Read our report
Please help fund our research -FSANZ has claimed no nanomaterials are used in food because they haven’t been notified of any! With your help, we can test foods to prove them wrong and ensure that they can no longer simply ignore the problem!