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USDA ignores Organic Standards Board's recommendation to prohibit nanoparticles in organic food


Nanoparticles
(NaturalNews) It's been six years since the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) in 2010 recommended to the USDA National Organic Program (NOP) not to allow nanomaterials into organic foods, but there has been no real response beyond a boilerplate "we're looking into it" statement. This is not a good sign.

Here's the NOSB summarizing statement: "There is overwhelming agreement within the organic industry to prohibit nanotechnology in organic production and processing at this time."

The NOP's boiler plate response was "[the NOP] intends to gather additional information about how nanomaterials are regulated and used in agricultural production and handling. ... [T]he NOP will gather information from other agencies... and report back to the NOSB."

Four years later and there's no response during the food processing industry's honeymoon with nanotechnology. This silence leads to the assumption that nanotechnology applications for foods being carried out now are of no concern.

Of course, there are very few who are even vaguely aware of nanotechnology applications with food. Silence and ignorance on this issue makes it easier for the USDA, FDA and the processed food industry to get away with whatever they want to do.

What is nanotechnology and what's the big deal about these little things?

Nanomaterials or nanoparticles are measured in nanometers (nm). A nanometer is one-billionth of a meter. For comparison's sake, a strand of DNA is about 2 nm across; a red blood cell is 7,000 to 10,000 nm across. Because of their small size, nanoparticles ingested in food may move throughout the body in unknown ways.

Nanoparticles have at least one dimension of less than 100 nanometers, and that's considerably smaller than a red blood cell. Some nanoparticles can result from unusual natural occurrences, like disastrous fires, while others can even occasionally come from benign activities such as flour milling.

But nanotechnology, like biotechnology with its genetically modified foods, or GMOs, is a science infatuated with itself and what it can do to intervene with nature and play God. They create engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) because they can magnify or spike the attributes of larger particles from the same chemicals.

It's gone wild with creating nanoparticles that the processed food and synthetic vitamin industries are lapping up without any model for long-term consequences. Even sunscreens use nanomaterial metal oxides coated with aluminum.

Nanoparticles can cross the blood-brain barrier, and aluminum toxicity in the brain is not a good thing. Food-processing companies like to use nanoparticles to enhance color or texture and who knows what else.

The food-processing industry's nanotechnology applications can go unnoticed as food additives because of their tiny sizes and the fact that they don't need to be labeled. So the ENM industry is closely related to the GMO industry.

A Friends of the Earth report concluded that nanoparticles in food can harm human health, and ENMs are more chemically reactive and more bioactive than larger particles of the same chemicals. Their report also states that nanoparticles endanger human health.

They have been shown to damage liver, kidneys and DNA. Because they're so tiny, they can easily get through the blood-brain barrier and penetrate placentas in expectant mothers to contaminate the growing fetus.

A group called the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies (PEN) established an inventory of consumer products contain ENMs in 2005. After this list was presented by Mother Jones with over 1,000 entries, PEN ran too low on funds to continue by 2009.

That list depended on food manufacturers' reporting ENM content. Nowb the food industry folks no longer report their ENMs at all because labeling ENMs is not required. Thus ENM food content remains shrouded in mystery even more than GMOs.

ENMs are synthetic and don't belong in organic foods. The door for ENMs to rush into organics is wide open, while the USDA ignores guidelines to keep them out.

Sources for this article include:

http://www.cornucopia.org

http://www.nanotechproject.org

http://www.foodandwaterwatch.org

http://www.rodalenews.com
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