Food safety on the cheap

While billions of dollars are invested each year by food and agriculture companies in developing new technologies, only a small fraction is invested in ensuring food safety, writes IATP's Steve Suppan in the latest issue of the Global Food Safety Monitor.

The latest example of this unfortunate practice is the enormous investments being made in developing new food and agriculture applications for nanotechnology: the manipulation of molecular level matter. Governments and companies are developing nanotech applications in food packaging, plant production, animal breeding and food appearance, without establishing or investing in any clear system to ensure safety.

The Global Food Safety Monitor reports from this summer's NanoAgri 2010 conference in São Pedro, Brazil, where over 300 scientists and a handful of regulators and nongovernmental organizations discussed the latest nanotech applications and national and international regulatory issues.

The Monitor reports, "For governments hoping that nanotechnologies will create a new generation of jobs and wealth, product development, and not development of environmental, health and safety data about nanotechnologies, is the priority."