food packaging

Greens push for ban on nano-materials in food packaging

Even though the NSW State elections were only over three days ago, the Greens have already begun a campaign for the future of food packaging. The Greens seek to put a ban on nano materials in food and its packaging. They are supported by many health campaigners, who have intensified their calls for Australia to regulate the use of nano-sized silver in everyday products.

This decision was heavily influenced by what the United States have done. The US Environmental Protection Agency have agreed to launch a review-and-approve regime for the use of nano-silver, a powerful anti-microbial agent, in new products. This comes after a long court battle with food safety advocates.

Internationally, nano-silver can be found in foods and food packagings such as baby bottles, cutting boards, salad bowls, cookware and cutlery.

What has been done about food packaging so far.

In November 2014, the Food Standards Australia New Zealand’s (FSANZ) decided that it would exclude nanomaterials from its review of chemical migration from packaging into food (for more info on this story from our blog, click here). FSANZ had reasoned chemical migration risks from nanomaterials were “not well defined and may need to be examined separately”. It did not propose a process or timeframe for assessing the risks of nanomaterials.

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