Nanotech Food Packaging Challenges Regulators | Chemical & Engineering News
Volume 86 Issue 27 | p. 19 | Concentrates
Issue Date: July 7, 2008

Nanotech Food Packaging Challenges Regulators

Department: Government & Policy


Took Only A Spark

The current U.S. regulatory system for ensuring the safety of food-packaging materials is inadequate for dealing with engineered nanoscale materials, according to a new report by the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars' Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies and the Grocery Manufacturers Association. "The system is not widely understood, and legitimate questions have been raised about how it would apply to nanoscale substances used in food packaging," said the report's author, Michael R. Taylor, a research professor at George Washington University's School of Public Health & Health Services. The report pulls together information from a series of meetings involving dozens of stakeholders. It focuses on hypothetical nanotech products that contain features likely to be commercialized, including a nanosanitizer that prevents contamination of food-packaging film, a nanosensor that detects pathogens in food-packaging film, and a nanobarrier that extends the shelf life of carbonated beverages.

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