FDA addresses use of nanotechnology by US food manufacturers

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 23rd April 2012

The US Food & Drugs Administration (FDA) has proposed new guidelines for the use of nanotechnology by food manufacturers in the United States.

Nanotechnology is an evolving technology that allows scientists to create, explore, and manipulate materials so small that they can not be seen with a regular microscope.

The technology has a broad range of potential applications, including the packaging of food.

Under the FDA’s new draft guidelines, US food manufacturers are encouraged to consult with the agency before taking their products to market.

In a statement, the FDA said that it is investing in a nanotechnology regulatory science program to further enhance FDA’s scientific capabilities, including developing necessary data and tools to identify properties of nanomaterials and assess the impact they may have on products.

FDA Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg said, “Understanding nanotechnology remains a top FDA priority. We are taking a prudent scientific approach to assess each product on its own merits and to not make broad, general assumptions about the safety of nanotechnology products.”

FDA’s current approach to regulation of nanotechnology products

The FDA currently embraces a ‘one size does not fit all’ approach to regulating nanotechnology.

According to the FDA, it is necessary for technical assessments to be product-specific, taking into account the effects of nanomaterials in the particular biological and mechanical context of each product and its intended use.