FDA official has questions about nanoscale food ingredients

June 10, 2009: The US Food and Drug Administration can regulate nanotechnology using its existing authority, but questions remain over the size of food ingredients, according to an FDA official.

Food Production Daily reports that Annette McCarthy, of the office of food additive safety at the FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, is warning that food ingredients on the nanoscale could change the “identity” and the toxicity of the ingredient.

“We believe that the regulatory authority is sufficient to address nanotechnology but there are further questions we need to address,” McCarthy said, speaking at the IFT International Food Nanoscience Conference in Anaheim.

She said that manufacturers looking to petition the FDA for acceptance of a nanotech food additive or coloring’s safety should examine its “impact on identity and toxicity.”

She also said the FDA is in the process of developing a guidance document for nanotechnology, scheduled to be available before the end of 2010.


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