Nanoparticles Are Unregulated–And They Are Increasingly Ending Up In Your Food

Food, Supplements, Even Packaging And Labeling Of Fruit And Vegetables May Contain Dangerous, Unregulated Nanoparticles. FDA: So What?

So you know that delicious powdered coffee creamer you use at the office? The kind that miraculously turns out to behave very much like actual cream once it hits the coffee, all silky smooth and nicely blended in?

How about that bright-white gum you like to chew after a coffee, making your mouth feel all minty fresh and clean?

Turns out both of these products and dozens of others are increasingly likely to contain nanoparticles, tiny, virus-sized “ingredients” that are added to food and/or packaging in order to give it brighter colors, add nutrients, thicken liquids, change texture, or to extend shelf life.

And the kicker is, these substances, despite their increasing ubiquity, are unregulated by the FDA.

On top of that, companies that use them are not required to disclose them on labeling. Yet, despite increasing alarm at the rate and frequency with which they are being adopted by food companies, nano-sized substances like titanium dioxide, hydroxyapatite, and zinc oxide can be found in everything from cream cheese, cookies, doughnuts, coffee creamer, chocolate syrup and other chocolate products, pudding, mayonnaise, mashed potatoes,
milk, soy, almond, and rice beverages, mints, gum, popcorn, salad dressing and oils,
yogurt, cereal, candy, crackers, pasta and sports drinks.

Perhaps even worse, there is evidence that nanomaterials are being used in packaging fresh fruits and vegetables, and thus could be a threat to what consumers consider to be healthy products.

And while the substances in question have been used in a variety of consumer products for decades in larger-sized versions, it’s the scale of the nanoparticles that may be its biggest downfall. The physical and chemical properties of the tiny version of the products is unknown. That includes toxicity, and what exactly can happen to people when they ingest them.

And studies are finding that nanomaterials appear to be extremely toxic in animal studies and in isolated cells. Yet, as was the case with GMOs, these products have been rushed out and into the food chain unregulated, untested and unlabeled.

Yet you are as likely as not consuming them regularly. And if you have kids who like chocolate, candy or milk–that’s all of them, isn’t it?–you are likely to feeding them these untested products as well.

What is the point of the FDA, exactly? It is quite likely the most captive of captive agencies in the US government aside from the flaccid federal financial regulators who continually allow Wall Street to have its way.

If they are going to refuse to regulate food and drugs, the FDA should be gutted and replaced with people who are actually prepared to regulate on behalf of the American people, not on behalf of the big food and drug companies.

http://www.alternet.org/personal-health/your-chewing-gum-making-you-lab-rat

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