Organic Consumers Association

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No No Nano: Macro-Objections to Micro-Machinations of Industrial Processed Food

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Nano Technology and Synthetic Biology page and our Safeguard Organic Standards page.

"To be interested in food but not in food production is clearly absurd."
- Wendell Berry

Steadily, stealthily, corporations are driving the goodness of natural life itself from our food, and cleverly - though unwisely - infesting it with dim bits of microscopic material substance that are obscured from human awareness. I object. Wholeheartedly.

Just as synthetic chemicals, manufactured additives, irradiation, and then genetically modified organisms (GMOs) have been corporately imposed upon processed food, now a micro-invasion of nanoparticles is gaining momentum. Patented lab-created nanoparticles are even penetrating the realm of organic food, as the USDA's organic program chooses to do nothing.

The invisible, insidious micro-mechanistic food interventions being aggressively advanced by industry are now incarnate via nanotechnology. That's the practice of manipulating materials on an atomic or molecular scale, and then incorporating the synthetic molecules into processed stuff, including our food.

The scale of nanotech is so infinitesimal that it's a mindstretch for most people. A sheet of newspaper, for example is about 100,000 nanometers thick.

The chemical-food industry has already incorporated nanomaterials into dietary supplements as well as packaging materials and cutting boards. They claim their nano-products make food safer, and they have dozens of direct food applications in development.

A MishMash of Micro-Machinations
Overall, at this early stage of the 21st Century, corporations are churning out a complex mishmash of novel, man-made, synthetic materials to impact the industrial food chain, and eventually our bodies and souls. They are doing it with minimal or no regulation. Consider:

The market right now offers more than 300 foods and food packaging materials that likely contain engineered nanomaterials, according to the Center for Food Safety. Nanomaterials can cause damage to ecosystems by transporting toxic contaminants through the environment, potentially causing cancer and organ damage. 

Researchers are now developing nanocapsules containing synthetic nutrients that can be released in your intestines when nanosensors detect a vitamin deficiency in your body. 

Nanoproducts already on sale in Europe purport to smuggle fat through your stomach and into your small intestine. This triggers a feeling of satiety and manufacturers claim it can help people cut their food intake.      

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