The European Commission (EC) has issued a draft rule amending Regulation 1169/2011—a food information and labeling rule adopted in 2011—with regard to use of the term "nano" to describe food additives. The amended rule requires adherence to the definition of "engineered nanomaterial" provided in Recommendation 2011/696/EU, because this rule "reflects the technical and scientific progress to date." The revised rule further states that the definition of a nanomaterial should be "linked" to the International Organization for Standardization’s definition that an engineered nanomaterial is "a nanomaterial designed for a specific purpose or function." According to the revised regulation, some food additives, which had been registered as "nano," may no longer be categorized as such.
Noting that it would be "unsuitable" and confusing for certain food additives to be preceded by the word "nano," the revision states that "food additives included in the [Union lists] should not be mandatorily qualified as ‘nano’ in the list of ingredients and should therefore not be covered by the definition of engineered nanomaterials." The proposed legislation also suggests that specific nano-related labeling requirements for food additives be evaluated by the European Food Safety Authority. See Nanotechnology Industries Association News Release, September 12, 2013.