Roundtable discussion in the European Parliament on 26 March 2013
During a roundtable discussion hosted by Holger Krahmer MEP (ALDE, DE) and organised by The Parliament Magazine and Plastics Europe, a study was presented on whether nanomaterials present in food packaging could potentially migrate into the food and presents risks to consumers.
What is nanotechnology?
Nanomaterials as defined in a 2011 Commission Recommendation are materials which often have specific properties due to their small particle size. It offers a technology that operates on a ’nanoscale’ , equivalent to millionths of a millimetre.
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), in its opinion on the potential risks arising from nanoscience and nanotachnologies used in food, recommended that action should be taken to generate more information on the properties of nanomaterials when they are exposed to consumers.
The study concluded that nanomaterials in food packaging do not migtate to food, and highlighted that a more risk based apparoach to safety research offers far more clarity than labelling alone.
The study was sponsored by PlasticsEurope and the State Ministry of Environment and Public Health of Bavaria.
EPHA postion on nanomaterials
In light of the complexity of the situation and of the precautionary principle, careful consideration of the potential risks of nanomaterials for consumers seems to be appropriate.
Adequate and effective regulation of nanomaterials and nanotechnology is needed in the health sector. Regulation is necessary to ensure that products containing manufactured nanoparticles are safe to consumers and do not lead to new human health and environmental risks.
A strong precautionary approach to manage nanotechnology is recommended:
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