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Feb 25, 2010

National Organic Standards Board Requests Technical Review of Nanotechnology

On 25 February 2010, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported that the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) had recommended a detailed technical and scientific review of how nanotechnology is and might be used in organic food production.

This recommendation is the result of NOSB's hearing on "Nanotechnology in Organic Production, Processing, and Packaging," held on 8 September 2009. At issue is the fact that nanotechnology was not mentioned in the Organic Food Production Act of 1990 (OFPA) or the National Organic Program (NOP) Rule published in 2000.  Under NOP, methods that are not mentioned, are excluded.

The need for a scientific definition for nanoparticles and nanotechnology arises from the fact that nanoparticles can be "specifically engineered, byproducts of various activities such as combustion or industrial manufacturing, or they can occur naturally, as in sea spray or erosion. Some nanoparticles are created in normal food processing technologies such as the homogenization of milk." NOSB members requested a technical definition is order to legally distinguish between synthetic and naturally ocurring nanoparticles and as a way not to cast a negative image on an entire industry that is still developing.

For more see:

"Nanotechnology in Organic Production, Processing, and Packaging; Request for information for developing a usable definition of the term in Organics," U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Organic Standards Board, Materials Committee, Washington, D.C., 25 February 2010.

"Nanotechnology in Organic Production, Processing, and Packaging," U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Organic Standards Board, Materials Committee, Washington, D.C., 8 September 2009.

About Margaret


CEO and Curator (The Food Museum) | Managing Director and Chief Editor (GR2 Global LLC) | Educator (UCLA PhD) | Researching and writing on global food issues, nutrition and health, sustainability, history (preservation), conservation (natural resources), and design.
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