MEPs call for nano-food moratorium

| December 2, 2014 of the European Parliament (MEPs) have amended European Commission plans for a simplified authorisation procedure for novel foods and proposed a moratorium on the use of nano-materials in food until their safety has been fully assessed.

The draft legislation is intended to encourage food innovation in the EU and sets out clear deadlines and definitions for putting a novel food on sale. The European Parliament’s Environment Committee approved the proposals, but the text was amended by MEPs to include the moratorium and a provision for compulsory labelling of cloned food products.

The MEPs amended the text because of possible food safety implications of foods made with nano-materials. They contend that novel food production processes that require risk assessments, including nano-materials, should not be authorised until the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has approved them. They also amended the definition of nano-materials to match EFSA recommendations that a 10% nano-particles threshold should qualify a food ingredient as ‘nano’ rather than the 50% proposed by the Commission.

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