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March 12, 2014

European Parliament Objects to European Commission’s Definition of Engineered Nanomaterials in Food

Lynn L. Bergeson

The European Parliament (EP) passed a resolution on March 12, 2014, that objects to the European Commission’s (EC) proposed regulation that would define “engineered nanomaterials” in food. According to the EP’s press release, the EC’s proposed regulation “would grant a blanket exemption from food-labelling requirements for nano-additives already on the market.” The press release quotes EP Member Carl Schlyter, who is credited for the EP’s “scrutiny” of the proposed regulation, as stating: “The EP has repeatedly called for proper nano-labelling and it is highly surprising that the Commission even tried to weaken what has been decided by both Parliament and the Council.  Consumers have the right to know and make their own choice.  They do not want the Commission to do that for them.  That is why today’s vote is important.”  The press release states that the EC’s justification for the exemption, that consumers might assume that existing food additives being labeled as “nano” were new to the market, is “erroneous and irrelevant.”