Earlier this week the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies and the Grocery Manufacturers Association released the report, Assuring the Safety of Nanomaterials in Food Packaging. The report addresses the growing concern of using nanomaterials in food packaging and related applications.
Throughout the report, the author addresses the unique, and in some cases, not so unique, concerns raised by using nanomaterials in food packaging, all through the use of hypothetical applications. The purpose of the report is to "tee-up" the regulatory issues faced by the FDA, as the primary regulatory agency in charge of food packaging, and the EPA as a secondary regulating authority. The report provided a broad based look at the issues raised by this specific nanomaterial application.
Like other areas of potential regulation, the use of nanomaterials in such close proximity to food raises its own concerns and potential. Beyond the discussion raised by the paper itself, which are absolutely worth considering, it is encouraging to see the GMA involved in this study. Because of the number of regulatory topics that are emerging, and each one seemingly unique to its own industry of application, it becomes critical for stakeholders to involve themselves in the debate.