Should the use of nanotechnology in food be allowed?

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Food Alert(NaturalHealth365) The unprecedented use of nanoparticles in our food is a cause for alarm. Phil Landrigan, MD, Chair of the Department of Preventive Medicine at Mount Sinai Medical School in New York City states, “there’s almost no information out there on the health effects of nanoparticles. There’s been billions spent on nanoparticle development for commercial use, but precious little work done on health effects.”

Has technology gone too far in feeding the world?

The use of nanoparticles is quite extensive and sophisticated. But, the methods of applying them to food, food packaging, pesticides and supplements is not well regulated.

Silver nanoparticles are a favorite for food manufacturers, who add these to food packaging. This extends the shelf life and is considered an “antimicrobial”. In addition, nanoparticles are used to make creamy liquids that are fat free; to enhance flavors; provide vivid colors, and to keep food “fresh” for a longer period than nature intended. But, is this good for us?

There is also no law in the United States that requires disclosure of its use. In contrast, companies in the European Union are required to label foods containing nanoparticles. Since nanoparticles can be used as an anticaking and gelatin-forming agent, titanium dioxide nanoparticles are added to Mentos, Trident, Dentyne gums, Betty Crocker Whipped Cream Frostings, Jello Banana Cream Pudding, Vanilla Milkshake Pop tarts and some coffee creamers.

Nanoparticles are microscopic materials of about the width of a strand of hair. Because of their size, they are easy to engineer into a host of consumer products. As an ingredient, the research seems to show that once it is ingested it passes through the gut and proceeds to other places such as the bone marrow, lymph nodes, the spleen the liver, the brain, the heart and the lungs.

When we consider how many foreign objects are in our food supply – it’s no wonder we have so many cases of food allergies and autoimmune related health problems.

The destruction of traditional farming practices

There are two commonly used nanoparticles, which effect both the growth and yield of food crops, according to a team of scientists at the University of California Santa Barbara’s Bren School of Environmental research. The research studies concluded that human and environment risks are not fully understood.

The nanoparticles studied include zinc oxide, found in sunscreen, and cerium oxide used in diesel fuels to increase fuel combustion. Zinc oxide nanoparticles enter plants through the application of fertilizers and these particles accumulate so the metal is distributed throughout edible plant tissue.

Both of these decrease the food quality of plants such as soybeans, and scientists are wondering if these plants are safe for human consumption.

The nanomaterial concentrates at the root nodules of the plant block its ability to form a relationship with symbiotic bacteria, which convert nitrogen in the air to a useable form. This in time makes conventional farmers increase the amounts of synthetic fertilizers to make up for the diminishing functions of the plants.

There is an urgent need for regulations of the emerging nanotechnology and while the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets limits on industrial metal discharge into public waste water treatment plants, there are no such regulations on nanoparticles. They aren’t even monitored – even though they physically exist in the wastewater.

We need organic farming – more than ever

Organic foods are grown without the use of human sewage sludge, the byproduct from wastewater treatment plants that many times are tainted with nanoparticles. That is the point of organic farming – we can avoid these pesticides containing nanoparticles and synthetic (toxic) fertilizers.

Avoiding nanoparticles altogether is not easy, but the way around this is to buy locally grown (organic) food or look for the USDA organic label on food products. The USDA’s National Organic Program certifies products as organic based on farming, handling, manufacturing, distribution and labeling practices. Again, organic food should not be using synthetic pesticides or fertilizers containing synthetic chemicals; no sewage-sludge fertilizer and no bio-engineered components.

So when the lame-stream media says there is very little difference between conventional and organic food – you now know that’s a total lie. These tiny nanoparticles can have a huge influence on our health now and in the future. Let’s support our local, organic farmer and invest our money in real food from nature.

About the author: Blanche Levine has been a student of natural healing modalities for the last 25 years. She has the privilege of working with some of the greatest minds in natural healing including Naturopaths, scientist and energy healers. Having seen people miraculously heal from all kinds of dis-ease through non-invasive methods, her passion now is to help people become aware of what it takes to be healthy.

Sources:
http://www.beyondpesticides.org/dailynewsblog/?p=7958
http://www.cnn.com/2013/02/14/opinion/behar-food-nanoparticles
http://grist.org/food/nanoparticles-in-your-food-youre-already-eating-them/
http://www.cornucopia.org/2013/02/presence-of-untested-nanoparticles-in-food-raises-public-health-concerns/

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  • Karen Scribner

    Please tell the people how to grow organic: stop using petroleum based fertilizers and pesticides. Just stop.
    AND Make the fields a patchwork of of crops so that the bugs on one plant don’t have so much food in one area.