Food is a big business in the EU and nanofood products are beginning to be placed on the market. It is still unclear whether the absence of minimum regulation at a global level promotes or prevents the growth of a market in nanofood. However, the development of an adequate risk management policy in relation to food safety is a key concern for consumers. Importantly, the European Parliament in its 2009 Resolution on “Legal aspects on nanomaterials” called for more in-depth scientific research on the toxicity of compounds in nanomaterials, and for the adoption of an EU definition of nanomaterials for regulatory purposes. Unfortunately, in 2011, nanotechnology led to inconclusive debates in the context of the revision of Novel Food Regulation. General Food Law applies to nanofood in terms of safety requirements, and specific rules also apply to food contact materials containing nanoparticles as well as to to additives, vitamins and minerals. The EU legislator also introduced mandatory labelling in respect of products derived from nanotechnologies. The legal framework is evolving according to the so-called “incremental approach”, a governance model that creates the risk of fragmentation. But the main problem is the inconsistent definition of the terms “nanotechnology” and “nanomaterials” when looking at the enforcement of regulations and the provision of a wide range of specific tools for different nanofoods: for example the use of positive lists of authorised substances applying only to food contact materials, additives and supplements. This contribution aims to review the regulations in force in respect to nanofood and novel foods and to highlight the problems that are still unresolved.

Nanotechnologies and Novel Foods in European Law

MARRANI, DANIELA
2013

Abstract

Food is a big business in the EU and nanofood products are beginning to be placed on the market. It is still unclear whether the absence of minimum regulation at a global level promotes or prevents the growth of a market in nanofood. However, the development of an adequate risk management policy in relation to food safety is a key concern for consumers. Importantly, the European Parliament in its 2009 Resolution on “Legal aspects on nanomaterials” called for more in-depth scientific research on the toxicity of compounds in nanomaterials, and for the adoption of an EU definition of nanomaterials for regulatory purposes. Unfortunately, in 2011, nanotechnology led to inconclusive debates in the context of the revision of Novel Food Regulation. General Food Law applies to nanofood in terms of safety requirements, and specific rules also apply to food contact materials containing nanoparticles as well as to to additives, vitamins and minerals. The EU legislator also introduced mandatory labelling in respect of products derived from nanotechnologies. The legal framework is evolving according to the so-called “incremental approach”, a governance model that creates the risk of fragmentation. But the main problem is the inconsistent definition of the terms “nanotechnology” and “nanomaterials” when looking at the enforcement of regulations and the provision of a wide range of specific tools for different nanofoods: for example the use of positive lists of authorised substances applying only to food contact materials, additives and supplements. This contribution aims to review the regulations in force in respect to nanofood and novel foods and to highlight the problems that are still unresolved.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11386/3963804
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