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Jennifer Chait

Certified Organic Food + Nanotechnology Equals the Worst Idea Ever

By October 21, 2010

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The National Organic Standards Board Materials Committee recently issued a fun proposal requesting that the USDA's National Organic Program hold a symposium on whether or not nanotechnology in organic production is "possible, practical and legal."

Interesting that they'd choose Non-GMO month to issue a proposal like this... but I digress.

This has to be one of the worst proposals I've heard of. Not only is this science completely unregulated but the nanotech industry is reluctant to even submit product data related to the environmental, safety and health effects of nanomaterials in food production. Top that with the fact that hundreds of peer-reviewed studies have shown that nanoparticles, when ingested, can cause DNA damage leading up to cancer and heart and brain disease, and nanomaterials in food sound even less fun.

PLUS, oh yes, it gets worse; ingesting nanotechnology was found to be so harmful in one UCLA study that one of the UCLA scientist in on the study noted that it can be linked to "All the big killers of man."

I agree with IATP who notes, "The idea that engineered nanomaterials (involving the manipulation of materials at the molecular level) would be allowed in certified organic food production seems ludicrous on its face. Allowing nanotechnology would seemingly destroy the credibility of the organic label with consumers."

The organic industry already has issues with convincing people that organic is worth it. Why on earth would we add altered materials into the mix? See IATP's entire submitted comment about this issue (pdf).

What do you think about mixing nanotechnology and organics?

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