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Nano in food

Safety issues

Caution! Pizza

It should be understood that there are many different types of nanomaterials, and not all of them could or are being considered for use in food products or production.

Food safety and testing

Safety issues in food, as with most nanotechnologies, revolve around making sure we know enough about the behaviour of the different nanoparticles in our bodies or in the environment to be sure they are safe to use and making sure the workers involved in making the products are not harmed. (See Safety section.)

Food is tightly regulated and companies have to demonstrate to independent scientists that the foods they have made are not going to harm people, animals or the environment before they are allowed to sell them. (See the Regulation section.)

At the moment governments, scientists and companies are running their own safety tests to find out how these particles behave and what effects they have in our bodies.

Many people think that companies should be much more transparent about how they test their products to make sure they are safe. Though there are likely to be few, if any, food products using nano on the market at the moment, many people want to see what tests companies rely on before they apply to sell their products, particularly whether what nano-specific tests are undertaken.

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