September 11, 2015

Nano in food and agriculture: regulations require collaboration to ensure safety

Nanotechnology offers promise for the development of innovative products and applications
in industrial sectors such as agricultural production, animal feed and treatment,
food processing and food contact materials. © aleks traksel,

(September 11, 2015)  An overview of regulatory solutions worldwide on the use of nanotechnology in food and feed production shows a differing approach: only the EU and Switzerland have nano-specific provisions incorporated in existing legislation, whereas other countries count on non-legally binding guidance and standards for industry. Collaboration among countries across the globe is required to share information and ensure protection for people and the environment, according to a JRC co-authored paper.

The paper Regulatory aspects of nanotechnology in the agri/feed/food sector in EU and non-EU countries reviews how potential risks or the safety of nanotechnology are managed in different countries around the world and recognises that this may have implication on the international market of nano-enabled agricultural and food products.

Nanotechnology offers substantial prospects for the development of innovative products and applications in many industrial sectors, including agricultural production, animal feed and treatment, food processing and food contact materials. While some applications are already marketed, many other nano-enabled products are currently under research and development, and may enter the market in the near future. Expected benefits of such products include increased efficacy of agrochemicals through nano-encapsulation, enhanced bioavailability of nutrients or more secure packaging material through microbial nanoparticles.

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