Researchers find nanoparticles in 6 of 6 U.S. baby formulas tested

Food Safety News
Cookson Beecher

Recent research has detected potentially harmful nanoparticles in six out of six popular infant formulas tested. Not surprisingly, this has triggered yet more concern about the safety of these engineered particles, which are added to some of the foods we eat.

The products tested were Gerber Good Start Gentle, Gerber Good Start Soothe, Enfamil, Similac Advance OptiGRO (liquid), Similac Advance OptiGRO (powder), and Well Beginnings Advantage.

Friends of the Earth commissioned the independent laboratory studies with a nanotechnology research facility at Arizona State University. Researchers collected samples from retailers in the San Francisco Bay Area. The goal of the research was to learn more about the presence of engineered nanomaterials in popular baby formulas.

Recalls, moratoriums and labeling are among the actions Friends of the Earth wants FDA to take.

The organization has joined with eight other organizations, among them the Center for Food Safety, the Center for International Environmental Law, Food and Water Watch, and the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, in sending a letter to FDA urging it to take these measures:

Assess the safety of and recall baby formulas with nanoparticle ingredients;

-Conduct a thorough review of the nanoparticle ingredients found in baby formulas. In the meantime, the agency must use its authority to enforce a manufacturer recall of baby formulas containing engineered nanoparticles as these ingredients may put human health at risk;
-Regulate nanomaterials as new substances;
-Subject all deliberately manufactured nanomaterials to rigorous nano-specific health and environmental impact assessments to demonstrate they’re safe prior to approval for commercial use in foods, food packaging, food contact materials, agricultural applications or other consumer products;
-Ensure transparency in safety assessment and product labeling;
-Place all relevant data related to safety assessments, and the methodologies used to obtain them, in the public domain;
-Require all manufactured nano-ingredients to be clearly indicated on product labels to allow the public to make an informed choice about product use;
-Require that the presence of nanomaterials to be disclosed to workers and other downstream users;
-Enact a moratorium on new commercial nanotech products, and,
-Deny products produced with nanomaterials access to the market until it’s determined how to properly assess and manage them to protect human health and the environment.

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