According to a press release published on November 25, 2014 on the European Parliament’s website, the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) voted to pass a draft report of the European Commission’s (EC) proposal for the revision of the current Novel Food Regulation. A novel food is defined as any food that was not used for human consumption within the EU to a significant degree before May 15, 1997. Novel food thus includes food containing nanoparticles (NPs). Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) however amended the text and proposed a moratorium on the usage of NPs in food. They stated that emerging technologies applied in the food sector may impact food safety. Therefore, foods for which production processes require risk assessments, such as for NPs, should not be authorized until they are approved by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). Special attention should be given to food contact materials (FCMs) containing NPs. NP migration into food should be prevented, MEPs say. Finally, they also modified the existing definition of NPs in order to bring it in line with current EFSA recommendations (10% NP threshold for a food ingredient to qualify as “nano” as opposed to 50% proposed by the EC).
European Parliament (November 25, 2014). “Novel foods: MEPs call for moratorium on nano-foods and labelling of cloned meat.”