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Posted: Oct 19, 2012
FoodDrinkEurope Nanotechnology Dialogue focuses on achievements and omissions in the introduction of the technology in the food chain
(Nanowerk News) FoodDrinkEurope today hosted its fifth annual stakeholder dialogue event to discuss the progress on potential applications and innovation in the use of nanotechnology amidst a backdrop of uncertainty and legal discussions over methodology and definitions of the technology and whether and how it should be labelled in the case of its potential use in food production.
The event is the fifth such event hosted by FoodDrinkEurope gathering together stakeholders from right across the political spectrum, including regulators, risk assessors, food chain partners, civil society and industry.
A host of very interesting speakers were part of the line-up for the day, among them, Prof. Lynn Frewer of Newcastle University, Veronique Garny, Director of Product Stewardship with CEFIC, Dr. Hermann Stamm of the Joint Research Centre (JRC) and Peter Ide Kostic of the Science and Technology Options Assessment of the European Parliament.
During her intervention, Prof. Lynn Frewer talked about the issue of consumer acceptance of emerging technologies, coupled with the need to better understand the application of such technologies early in product development. The issue of perceived personal and societal benefit was also discussed. Veronique Garny, focused her presentation on the important work of the Cross Industry Platform on Nanomaterials (CIP), where she highlighted the objectives, benefits and the achievements of the Platform thus far.
Meanwhile, Dr. Hermann Stamm examined the Analytical Methods for Nanomaterials in food and the progress made in developing testing methods, highlighting the controversial issue of the of implementing of a definition, based on Commission recommendation, of the term 'nanomaterial' and the enforcement of labelling requirements for nanomaterial ingredients as in the case of food.
Finally, Peter Ide Kostic, informed participants of STOA's work and gave an overview of its main lines of action.
Concluding the day, Dr. Mike Knowles, Chair of the FoodDrinkEurope Nanotechnology Expert Group, noted “We have spoken a lot about the challenges that still lie ahead for Europe’s food processors in the area of potential applications of nanomaterials in food and how we can overcome these hurdles. There is widespread agreement that we urgently need agreement on a definition, combined with safety and regulatory aspects, as well as openness and transparency. This Nanotech Stakeholder Dialogue Day is part of Europe’s food and drink industry’s readiness to respond to that challenge through working closely with key stakeholders in this area, including consumer groups, and we look forward to continuing this fruitful collaboration going forward.”
A summary of the Fifth FoodDrinkEurope Nanotechnology Dialogue event will be circulated shortly along with the presentations of speakers via the FoodDrinkEurope Nanotechnology pages on the website:
The mission of FoodDrinkEurope is to represent the food and drink industries of the EU – the largest manufacturing sector in the EU in terms of turnover and employment. FoodDrinkEurope works with European and international institutions, in order to contribute to the development of a legislative and economic framework addressing the competitiveness of industry, food quality and safety, consumer protection and respect for the environment. FoodDrinkEurope's membership consists of 25 national federations, including 3 observers, 26 European sector associations and 19 major food and drink companies. For more information on FoodDrinkEurope and its activities, visit: www.fooddrinkeurope.eu
Source: By Lori Keesey, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center