5.08.2009

Experts Present Evidence to Committee on Nanotechnology in Food

http://www.azonano.com/news.asp?newsID=11326
http://www.foodtech-international.com/papers/images/application-nano/fig1-lge.jpg
As part of the evidence given, several key points were raised including:
  1. the ability of nanoparticles to cross the gut wall and other cellular barriers;
  2. the potential novel toxic effects of such nanoparticles in the human body;
  3. the possibility that other materials in the gut (e.g. bacteria or other contaminants) may attach to the nanoparticles and be transported across the gut wall (the Trojan Horse Effect)
Other important concerns included the ability of nanoparticles to interfere with cellular processes in the body e.g. oxygen metabolism, and the antimicrobial properties of some nanoparticles which may result in further harmful effects.
It was also emphasised that research to date has primarily been investigator driven, a consequence of the responsive funding mode adopted in the UK, and as such has focussed primarily on inhalation and dermal exposure to nanoparticles. This has led to a lack of research into the effects of ingestion of nanoparticles combined with a non-generalisability of current research. A more strategic coordinated approach, such as that recommended in the 2004 Royal Society Report, was necessary. These major gaps in the knowledge base, specifically relating to ingestion, was a key finding of the recent SAFENANO-led report EMERGNANO, one of the documents discussed at the hearing.
[Source: azonano.com]

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