On June 13, 2016 the French non-governmental organization Agir pour l’Environnement published an investigation into the nanomaterial content of food. The organization had commissioned the Laboratoire national de métrologie et d’essais (LNE) to test four processed food products commercially available in France for the presence of manufactured nanomaterials. LNE found that all four food products tested (chocolate biscuits, chewing gum, spice mix, canned meat) contained significant quantities of titanium dioxide (TiO2) and silicon dioxide (SiO2) nanoparticles. These nanomaterials have not been tested or approved for consumption by the European regulator, the organization notes. Further, they stress that these products should be labelled as ‘nano,’ according to the European regulation on food information to consumers (EU) 1169/2011. Agir pour l’Environnement urges the French authorities to recall the tested products and calls for a moratorium on the use of nanomaterials in consumer goods until full safety assessments are available.
SiO2 is authorized in the EU for plastic food packaging, with no specific migration limit (see FPF background article on nanomaterials).
Agir pour l’Environnement (June 13, 2015). “Enquête exclusive – Des analyses révèlent la présence de #nanoparticules dans des aliments!” (in French)
LNE (2016). “Rapport d’essai – Agir pour l’Environnement.” (in French; pdf)