Small Ingredients in a Big Picture: Regulatory Perspectives on Nanotechnologies in Foods and Food Contact Materials
The convergence of nanotechnologies with the food and food processing sector will further revolutionise the agri-food sector. Yet despite the growing concern of the potential risks posed by some engineered nanoparticles, and the adequacy of existing legislative frameworks to protect human health and safety, a number of foods and food packaging materials have already reached the supermarket shelves in some countries. In light of these concerns, this chapter provides an in-depth examination of the strengths and weaknesses of the food safety regulatory frameworks in the European Union and the United States for managing potential risks posed by nanotechnologies in food and food packaging. In acknowledging the delicate balance involved in promoting technological innovation while simultaneously taking reasonable precautions to protect the public, the chapter concludes by articulating a range of mechanisms that could be adopted to assist governments in achieving this fine balance in relation to food safety.