Australian academics have published a wide-ranging analysis (download paper below) of nanotechnology’s likely transformation of food and agricultural systems. Dr Gyorgy Scrinis and Dr Kristen Lyons write: “Nanotechnology is attracting large-scale investment from global food corporations, is backed by academic science, and has captured financial and ideological support from many governments around the world … This industrial and scientific collaboration strategically place the corporate sector to shape the research trajectory and commercial applications of nanotechnology, and the future of agri-food systems”.

“This paper provides an overview of some of the growing number of nano-applications being researched and commercialised across the agriculture and food sectors. This includes considering the ways in which the techniques and products of nanotechnology may extend, entrench and exacerbate, but also reconstitute or transform the social and ecological relations that they mediate. We will refer to the emergence of a ‘nano-corporate food paradigm’ as a way of identifying some of the technical, ecological, and socio-economic characteristics associated with the incorporation of the techniques and products of nanotechnology across the food system.

For example, in terms of ecological relations, nanotechnology represents the most powerful set of techniques yet developed to take apart and reconstitute nature at the atomic level. In terms of economic relations, nanotechnology provides new opportunities for the extension and further integration of corporate ownership and control within and between sectors of the agri-food system. We will also reflect on the relationship between this nano-corporate paradigm and other recent techno-economic paradigms of agri-food production and consumption.”

Click here to access their paper.