The European Parliament has reportedly rejected draft rules mandating the labeling of engineered nanomaterials used in food. According to a March 13, 2014, press release, MEPs voted to scrap the proposed measure over concerns that the European Commission’s definition of nanomaterial “would exempt nano-sized food additives already on the market.”

In particular, MEPs noted that although the European Union currently defines engineered nanomaterials “as any intentionally produced material whose  size is under 100 nanometres,” the commission’s draft rules stipulated that “a nanomaterial should consist of at least 50% of particles having a size between 1-100 nanometres,” an increase over the European Food Safety Authority’s recommended threshold of 10 percent.

“The EP has repeatedly called for proper nano-labeling and it is highly surprising that the Commission even tried to weaken what has been decided by both Parliament and the Council,” MEP Carl Schlyter was quoted as saying. “Consumers have the right to know and make their own choice. They do not want the Commission to do that for them. That is why today’s vote is important.” See European Parliament Press Release, March 12, 2014.