On May 17, 2016 the non-profit organization Friends of the Earth (FoE) released a report entitled “Nanoparticles in baby formula: Tiny new ingredients are a big concern.” FoE tested a selection of six infant formula samples collected from retailers in the San Francisco Bay Area, California, U.S.. They found nano-sized structures and particles in all six brands of baby formula: Nano-hydroxyapatite (nano HA) in needle-like and non needle-like form, iron oxide spherical nanoparticles, nano titanium dioxide (TiO2), and nano silica dioxide (SiO2). FoE notes that the nano TiO2 and nano SiO2 results only demonstrated possible presence. The report further summarizes scientific studies demonstrating the health risks posed by ingestion or inhalation of these nanomaterials.
In light of their results, FoE call for “a moratorium on the further commercial release of food products, food packaging, food coatings, food contact materials and agrochemicals that contain engineered nanomaterials until nanotechnology-specific safety and labeling laws are established and the public is involved in decision-making.” FoE also highlights knowledge gaps regarding the use of nanomaterials in food products, such as the extent to which nanomaterials from packaging, surfaces and coatings migrate into foods. They note that “processed and packaged foods are more likely than fresh foods to be a source of manufactured nanoparticles.”
FoE (May 17, 2016). “Potentially hazardous nanoparticles found in powdered baby formula.”
CIEL (May 17, 2016). “Nanoparticles in baby formula.”
FoE (2016). “Nanoparticles in baby formula: Tiny new ingredients are a big concern.” (pdf)