A House Of Lords Parliamentary Sub Commitee is to look at nanotechnology in the UK food industry. Lord Krebs is to chair.
The science is in its early stages and only a tiny number of products are available worldwide. However because there is such a potentially wide application, a lot of R & D effort is currently being spent in this area.
The main focus will be on additives, supplements, food contact packaging, manufacturing, fertilisers and pesticides as well ask cooking utensils.
The committee is inviting evidence on the following quesions
“* What is the current state of nanotechnologies research and development in the UK and how does it compare to research being carried out in other countries?
* What are the potential applications and benefits of nanotechnologies in the food sector?
* What are the risks posed to consumers by the use of nanotechnologies and nanomaterials in the food sector?
* Is the regulatory framework for nanotechnologies and nanomaterials fit for purpose, and is there any inter-governmental co-operation on regulations and standards?
* What is the current level of public awareness of the issues surrounding the use of nanotechnologies in the food sector?”
Lord Krebs who is Chairman of the Science and Technology Sub-Committee on Nanotechnologies and Food commented:
“This is an area of the food industry that is being researched and advanced at a rapid rate. It is essential that we are aware of all the issues that surround the use of such technologies in the production of food in order that we can make informed decisions about the impacts and changes that an increased use of nanotechnologies might cause.
“Our inquiry will explore four key aspects of the use of nanotechnologies: the state of the science and its current use in the food sector; health and safety implications; the regulatory framework, and public engagement and consumer information.
“It is critical that the UK remains fully engaged in this fast developing field and plays a key role in the industry and its development. We intend to highlight those areas where our understanding of the use of nanotechnologies in food needs the most urgent attention, allowing us to take action to ensure appropriate steps are taken.”