EC Proposal Would Require Novel Food Authorization for Engineered Nanomaterials

On December 18, 2013, the European Commission (EC) adopted three draft proposals on animal cloning and novel food. The draft proposal concerning novel food would revise the current regulation “with a view to improving access of new and innovative food to the EU market, while still maintaining a high level of consumer protection.” An EC question and answer (Q&A) concerning the draft proposals includes the following Q&A concerning nanomaterials:

What are the requirements for nanomaterial?

Nanomaterial is materials engineered at the scale of atoms and molecules. The proposal specifies that engineered nanomaterials, as defined in the Regulation on Food Information to Consumers, require a Novel Food authorisation before being used in foodstuffs.  This confirms that nanomaterial[]s are covered by the Novel Food Regulation.

The EC’s December 18, 2013, press release states that the European Parliament and the Council will consider the draft proposal and adopt their positions “in due course.” According to the press release, the earliest the amendment would enter into force would be 2016.

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