Friends of the Earth has released a May 2014 report titled “Tiny Ingredients Big Risks,” claiming that some popular food products contain unlabeled manufactured nanomaterials. Based on information obtained from the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies (PEN), the report identifies 94 food and beverage products—including almond milk, cereal, soy and dairy products, oils, and sports beverages—that purportedly contain nano-ingredients such as titanium dioxide, silver and “nano-sized self-assembled structured liquids” known as micelles. According to the report, the number of products on this list has allegedly increased tenfold since the consumer group published its last report in 2008.
“Friends of the Earth calls upon food companies and government regulators to stop this influx of nanofoods into the market, given the absence of regulations to ensure these novel products are safe for human health and the environment and labels to ensure consumer right to know,” opines the report’s lead author in a May 21, 2014, press release. “We know too little about the safety of these small-but-powerful ingredients to be conducting this widespread experiment on our bodies and the environment.” Additional details about an Arizona State University study that added many products to PEN’s Nanoproducts Inventory appear in Issue 426 of this Update. See Mother Jones, May 28, 2014.