Nanotechnologies and Food Discussion Group
The aim of the group is to help the Agency take forward some of the recommendations from the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee 2010 report into nanotechnologies and food, and to exchange information between different sectors within the nanotechnologies and food groups.
The group has discussed possible ways to take forward recommendations from the House of Lords report, including:
- intelligence gathering to determine what, if any, nanotechnology research is being carried out by the food industry
- ways in which to develop a register of nanotechnology-enabled foods and food contact materials on the UK market
More information about the group and minutes of its meetings can be found below.
About the House of Lords Committee on Science and Technology inquiry
In February 2009, the House of Lords Committee on Science and Technology launched an inquiry into nanotechnologies and food. The Agency and other relevant bodies were called to give evidence. In January 2010, the committee published its report on the inquiry. The report, which can be found under ‘External links’ towards the end of this page, made a total of thirty two recommendations and conclusions. The Government response to the committee’s report, which was published on 25 March 2011, can also be found under 'External links'.
Consumer engagement and public attitudes
The FSA commissioned TNS-BMRB, an independent research company, to carry out research into UK consumer awareness and attitudes of nanotechnologies in the food sector. The research, which was conducted between November 2010 and February 2011, and published in April 2011, revealed that consumer awareness about nanotechnologies in relation to food was generally low. Consumers were concerned about safety, particularly long term safety, and impacts on the environment. There was a greater acceptance of certain types of potential applications than others and a general scepticism about industry’s motives for developing these technologies. Overall, consumers wanted more information and transparency. The full research report can be found at the link towards the end of this page.