EU Parliament and the European Food Safety Agency to tighten up regulations on nanotechnology

15th April 2009
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Green campaigners have welcomed moves by the European Parliament to introduce new rules on nanomaterials in cosmetics.

In a vote in March, Strasbourg ruled that any cosmetic containing nanomaterials will have to list the ingredient on product packaging, followed by the word ‘nano’ in brackets. In their decision, MEPs stressed that ‘safety concerns must be paramount’.

South East Green MEP Caroline Lucas welcomed the vote, describing it as ‘a radical departure’ from the previous EU position, which had seen existing legislation as sufficient.

Also in March, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) warned that current toxicological tests designed to decide whether nanomaterials should be included in food products or packaging may not be adequate ‘to detect all aspects of potential toxicity’.

EFSA’s Scientific Committee also pointed out that risk assessments conducted on individual nanomaterials are ‘likely to be subject to a high degree of uncertainty’, and called for more research on the toxicity of nanoparticles in the body.

This article first appeared in the Ecologist April 2009

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