Vol.3 No.1 (2008)


Paull & Lyons

Abstract: Nanotechnology is the fast growing science of the ultra small; it is creating engineered particles in the size range 1 to 100 nanometres. At this size, materials exhibit novel behaviours. Nanotechnology is a rapidly expanding multibillion dollar industry, with research being heavily promoted by governments, and especially the US. Nanoscale materials are already incorporated into more than 580 consumer products, including food, packaging, cosmetics, clothing and paint. Nanotechnology has been cited as the foundation of a new “advanced agriculture”. This technology is advancing without nanospecific regulation and without labelling, while at the same time, public confidence in government regulatory agencies, and in the safety of the food supply, is declining. There is an opportunity, perhaps an imperative, for the organic community to take the initiative to develop standards to exclude engineered nanoparticles from organic products, just as GMOs have been excluded previously.

Keywords: nanotechnology, nanoparticles, nanoscale materials, nano-pollution, organic agriculture, organic farming, organic food, regulation, labelling, IFOAM, standards.

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Author Contact

John Paull

The Fenner School of Environment and Society, College of Science, Australian National University, Canberra, ACT, 0200, Australia.


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