FDA Gives Nanotechnology a Gentle Love Pat

April 24, 2012
Category: Uncategorized

42-22789745Their latest report says there might be safety concerns but admits to being basically clueless about what, if anything, to do. Action Alert!

In 2007, a congressionally appointed committee concluded that the FDA’s “scientific base has eroded [and] does not have sufficient capacity and capability.” Nanotechnology seems a case in the point. The FDA by it’s own admission has no idea whether or how to respond.
Nanotechnology is the science of manipulating matter on an atomic and molecular scale. The technology has a broad range of potential applications, such as the packaging of food, or altering the look and feel of cosmetics. Increasingly, the submicroscopic particles are showing up in FDA-regulated products like sunscreens, skin lotions, and glare-reducing eyeglass coatings.
Most troubling by far is the potential that our food will contain nanoparticles. According to the US Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies’ report on the use of nanotechnology in food and agriculture:

Thanks to nanotechnology, tomorrow’s food will be designed by shaping molecules and atoms. Food will be wrapped in “smart” safety packaging that can detect spoilage or harmful contaminants. Future products will enhance and adjust their color, flavor, or nutrient content to accommodate each consumer’s taste or health needs.

Hmm. Who exactly will decide what my personal health needs are, and how will they be addressed through the nano-manipulation of my food?
FDA has just released a draft guidance for the food processing industry which states that nanotechnology could affect the identity, safety, and regulatory status of a food substance, and may warrant a regulatory submission to the FDA. The guidance puts the burden on the industries using nanotechnology to determine whether this is the case for their product, and whether they should notify the FDA or not!
Although the FDA acknowledges there could be safety issues with the use of nanotechnology, the agency provides no clear safety standards or threshold levels for nanoparticles in food products or packaging. They suggest that extra testing may be required, but leave all the details to the big food and agriculture companies we collectively refer to as Big Farma. We believe FDA is trying to avoid any conflict with their friends in the food industry, and as we have seen repeatedly, these friends do not include the small farmer and producer. This is all yet another example of crony capitalism at work.
The nanotechnology market is expanding—it is currently used in clothing, food, and cosmetics, and was responsible for $225 billion in product sales in 2009 alone. The world’s biggest companies, including Nestle, Kraft, Heinz, and Unilever, are involved in nanotechnology research and development.
As we previously reported, true nanotechnology is the antithesis of organic food. There is, however, no guarantee that nanotechnology isn’t in organic products. The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) recommends that USDA prohibit nanomaterials from certified organic foods. While the USDA’s National Organic Program has adopted the recommendation, it has not fully implemented and enforced it. If you have not already done so, please contact the USDA immediately and explain why this is so important!
According to Food and Water Watch, engineered nanoparticles:

  • are more reactive and potentially more toxic;
  • are often less stable;
  • have the potential to pass the blood-brain barrier and the placental barrier;
  • can migrate to different tissues and organs; and
  • can increase the bioavailability of other chemicals, such as toxins.

The real problem however is that we just don’t know enough yet about nanotechnology. Chemicals like PCBs and pesticides like DDT were once assumed to be safe—their danger was not fully understood until long after human health and environmental damage already occurred. To avoid similar disasters in the future, the health and environmental effects of nanotechnology should be thoroughly studied before more products are allowed onto the market, especially into food and food packaging. And a lot depends on the definition of nanoparticles’ size, and whether they can be considered new to nature. So far there aren’t any real definitions or standards.

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15 responses to “FDA Gives Nanotechnology a Gentle Love Pat”

  1. Mary Marucci says:

    A big profit motive, and a desire to track every possible animal up for slaughter, including humans. Sorry, I do not buy this push for nano execpt because it can be done and affords a central control over a diverse universe, kinda like Monsanto controlling the sead of nations through contamination and false sales pitches.
    it can be done. But in the end who really profits. those who have nuclear energy in their light bulbs or electric cars, or the legacy that means for their children, if in fact children can be born and grow to fertility before dying. The nano benefits primarily the defense industry in their push for even better weapons of destruction and control. We are a very self centered people who have no idea that we are part of the whole of life and are acting like its cancer.

    • Jackie Cannon says:

      I agree with Mary Marucci. Humans are like cancer… a growing tumor around the globe, cutting off nutrients to the rest of life on the Earth. The first Matrix movie had it right: humans are like a virus, spreading uncontrollably throughout the world. Apt analogy.

  2. Emily Scott and family says:

    Nano technology is very dangerous!

  3. kathy lee says:

    More insanity for marketability by undesirable products.

  4. SmilingAhab says:

    The original impetus for the development of nanotechnology was to create a great leap forward in clean manufacturing and construction. The original developers in the 80s constantly warned of the need to keep constant tabs on possible contamination.
    Big Ag will do anything to make people fat, dumb and sick. They’re more pliable and need to spend more that way. Just like a nice, fat cow.

  5. Nanotechnology, with all of its promise, has not been thoroughly examined for its ramifications. It’s highly likely that any damage done to living tissues by nanotechnology cannot be undone. We are manipulating our world in ways that have distastrous consequences down the road for living beings. Because the harm is not immediate, the dangers escape notice. SO PEOPLE HAVE NO IDEA OF THE DOWNSIDE OF SUCH TECHNOLOGIES. Congress lets the marketplace do all the deciding. Very unwise, if you have the people’s wellbeing in mind, that is. THINK about this. ACT accordingly.

    • Bob says:

      What about liposomal supplements such as glutathione and others which are recommended by natural doctor and such prestigious journals as The Townsend Journal?

  6. Emily Weil says:

    •are more reactive and potentially more toxic;
    •are often less stable;
    •have the potential to pass the blood-brain barrier and the placental barrier;
    •can migrate to different tissues and organs; and
    •can increase the bioavailability of other chemicals, such as toxins.
    The real problem however is that we just don’t know enough yet about nanotechnology. Chemicals like PCBs and pesticides like DDT were once assumed to be safe—their danger was not fully understood until long after human health and environmental damage already occurred. To avoid similar disasters in the future, the health and environmental effects of nanotechnology should be thoroughly studied before more products are allowed onto the market, especially into food and food packaging. And a lot depends on the definition of nanoparticles’ size, and whether they can be considered new to nature. So far there aren’t any real definitions or standards.

  7. Lucy Hupe says:

    Here we go again – a constant new manipulation of products.
    These people don’t know the word NATURAL
    they are obscessed with “creating” or more like destroying
    what it is that people want – it is all about greed
    it is why scientists get such a bad rap.

  8. Pamela says:

    The FDA is *clueless* as to what, IF ANYTHING, to do….. But they know EXACTLY what to do with BigPharma’s untested travesties….RUBBER STAMP them! And they know EXACTLY what to do with organic farms….HARASS them into oblivion. Supplements? BAN them! Raw milk? ARREST them! We would be far better off with NO FDA than the obstructive counterproductive nightmare bought, paid for, owned and operated by Corporate Amerka.

  9. B. Talbert says:

    No-one in government understands nano-technology. The companies that are researching it do not understand it in all it’s ramifications. We are venturing into an unknown forest and throwing away our compass. That which is to be gained might be nullified by that which will detract from human life. Why is everyone forgetting that we are created to be human beings? Brave, new—–blip.

  10. Don says:

    Jackie Cannon says:
    April 25, 2012 at 3:13 pm
    I agree with Mary Marucci. Humans are like cancer… a growing tumor around the globe, cutting off nutrients to the rest of life on the Earth. The first Matrix movie had it right: humans are like a virus, spreading uncontrollably throughout the world. Apt analogy.
    Well Jackie, if you truely feel like a cancer what are you going to do about it?

  11. Dana Carver says:

    It’s unfortunate that idealistic scientists find increasingly inventive ways to improve technology, yet do not consider how this technology can be manipulated by those who do not care about public health. The average citizen has no idea the harmful ingredients in products and their synergistic or antagonistic effects. For all we know nanoparticles could be genotoxic or permanently disrupt endocrine systems in vivo. Sure it works in the lab, but human physiology is complex and should not be underestimated.

    • Dana Carver says:

      You would think that the DES (diethystilbesterol) disaster would have taught the FDA a lesson, I guess American health is not their priority. This synthtic estrogen derivative was prescribed to thousands of women to prevent miscarriage and given to cattle and chickens to increase weight. It caused cancer and reproductive defects in the offspring of the women who took DES. We need to protect our children, wheither it’s nanotechnology, antibiotics in animal feed, genetic engineering, or other.

  12. Well, I don’t have alot to say, but maybe, by making a comment, I can get the powers that be to show my correct email address. Previous efforts to show the correct address have been unsuccessful

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