This right here is what’s known as an ingredients label. It’s legally required to be printed on the packaging of food items, and if you happen to be one of those people who stands in the aisles at the supermarket, looking for the names of ingredients that you can’t pronounce, and therefore you don’t want to ingest into your body, well, then you’ve most likely come across the names of several ingredients that perhaps unbeknownst to you are actually made using nanotechnology.
Specifically, there are made through a process which converts things like silver, copper, gold, aluminum, silicon, carbon, as well as different metal oxides into tiny, tiny, tiny atom-sized particles that are quite literally 1 billionth of a meter in size.
If you want a visual for how small that is, up on screen is a graph from the National Center for Electron Microscopy, and it shows you how a strand of DNA, which is about 2 nanometers in diameter, is about a thousand times smaller than a bacteria organism and about a million times smaller than a raindrop. So that is to say, these nanoparticles in our food are very, very small.
Now, some of the more common nanosize ingredients that you might be able to find in your cupboard right now, if you were to look, include things like:
- titanium dioxide, which is used to increase the whiteness of things like milk, yogurt, and sugar.
- silicon oxide, which is added as an anti-caking agent.
- iron and zinc dioxide, which are added to increase supposed nutritional value.
- silver derivatives, which are added for sterilizing properties
- calcium carbonate, tri-calcium phosphates, and so on, and so forth.
The list is rather long.
Before we move on, in order to really set the stage free properly here, let me back up for a quick moment and actually explain to you what this is all about. Starting back in the 1990s, so about 30 full years ago, nanotechnology became widely used in the production of food products.
That’s because scientists discovered that by adding these tiny little components, they were able to make our food more colourful, brighter, creamier, crunchier, and they were even able to keep it fresher for longer, and besides just adding it to the food itself, well, some manufacturers have also added these nanoparticles to the food packaging.
I just want to example, up on screen, you can see a milk carton, which utilizes nanotechnology to act essentially as an indicator of the freshness of the milk that’s inside, and as you can see, the colour of the box actually changes to coincide with the change of the food that’s inside.
Furthermore, different researchers also found that adding these nanosized additives to some medicines made them more effective. However, according to more and more consumer protection groups, as well as different health experts, well, there appears to be a catch, which is that while these nanoparticles can provide a myriad of benefits, they might come at a price, and that price is our health.
Because you see, these particles are so small, so tiny that studies, like this one here that you can see up on screen for yourself, show that they can actually breach the blood-brain barrier, and the ironic part is that the researchers in that study, they were actually looking into this function of nanoparticles in order to treat neurological diseases because in order to treat them, they actually need medication that can breach the blood-brain barrier.
- 🩸🔪🧠 Blood-Brain Barrier Study:
But when it comes to food, for instance, when it comes to your breakfast cereal, that is not a feature of the ingredients that anyone is looking for.
Furthermore, besides breaching the blood-brain barrier, other studies have shown that these particles are also able to circulate throughout the body. To get into and get absorbed by the blood stream in different organs, they have the potential to penetrate our cell walls, and then they might also, at least potentially, create inflammation and disease.
They may pass through the lining of the gut and enter the bloodstream, which may trigger an inflammatory or immune response…
They may also build up in various parts of the body, including the lungs, the heart, and the reproductive organs.
Dr. Georgios Pyrgiotakis, Harvard School for Public Health
We really don’t know what the impact of these particles is... Human exposure is increasing, and we lack the tools to even measure what is arriving in our bodies, where it is deposited and what it does there.
Then he went on to compare nanoparticles to Asbestos:
Asbestos itself is relatively benign. It’s an inorganic material, what makes it toxic and makes it kill 90,000 people a year, is that it has particles that lodges in human tissue.
Dr Rolf Halden, Director for Environmental Center for Health Engineering
Furthermore, there was a study published in July of 2020 by researchers over at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. In this study, they were specifically researching the effects of titanium dioxide, which is one of the most well-known additives. It’s commonly added to things like gum, candy, drinks, milk, desserts, and so on. What these researchers did was that they gave titanium dioxide to two different groups of mice. In order to isolate the effects specifically to this nanoparticle, one group of mice was fed a low-fat diet, and the other group was fed a high-fat diet.
- 🐭🐀 Titanium Dioxide Study on Mice:
Both groups experienced changes in their gut bacteria, including the inflammation of their colons, which can lead to abdominal pain and even diarrhoea. Although both sets of mice experience this inflammation, the obese mice that were fed the higher-fat diet, they had more pronounced symptoms.
You might look at the study and say, “Hey, Roman, that’s great, but these nanoparticles have been used in food production since the 1990s, and they are found in over quite literally 2,000 different food items, why are you citing studies on mice? What about studies on humans?“
Well, that’s the million-dollar question, because looking at the situation, you would assume that surely the US government wouldn’t haphazardly allowed food companies to introduce these new ingredients into the products that we buy in our store shelves without undergoing rigorous testing and authorization, and if you think that, well, you would only be half-right.
As it turns out, the FDA, which is of course the agency that’s tasked with overseeing these additives, they are themselves trying their best to keep up with this new and evolving technology, and they’re essentially playing a balancing game between the potential benefits while mitigating the risks that these nanoparticles actually cause.
As it currently stands, the FDA recognizes nanoparticles within food with a designation called GRAS, which stands for Generally Recognized As Safe.
As long as the manufacturer is already using the same ingredient in its larger form, well, they can use it in its nanoparticle form.
Meaning that if let’s say a cereal manufacturer is, for instance, using titanium dioxide as an additive in their cereal, well, then they can also use titanium dioxide nanoparticles in their cereal as well, and the FDA will label that serial as being GRAS.
Here’s specifically what a guidance document from the FDA said in this matter, and just for your reference, this document was released all the way back in 2007.
We concluded that the agency’s authorities are generally comprehensive for product subject to pre-market authorization requirements, such as drugs, biological products, devices, and food and color additives, and that these authorities give the FDA the ability to obtain detailed scientific information needed to review the safety and, as appropriate, the effectiveness of the products.
For products not subject to pre-market authorization requirements, such as dietary supplements, cosmetics, and food ingredients that are generally recognized as safe, otherwise known as GRAS, manufacturers are generally not required to submit data to the FDA prior to marketing, and the agency’s oversight capacity is less comprehensive.
FDA Nanotechnology Task Force Report 2007
- 😈 FDA 2007 Nanotech Report:
Meaning, again, that the FDA’s requirement for reviewing and confirming the safety and efficacy of nanotechnology ingredients only applies to a certain sub-sector of food-related products, and so, if something is already recognized as being generally safe, then the nanoparticle derivative of that same substance is also generally assumed to be safe.
However, the reason that this is so troubling is quite frankly rather obvious. Given the fact that the sole purpose of using these nanotechnologies is because it’s known that certain substances behave radically different at the nano level than they do at the much larger levels, and so for the FDA to admit that ingredients that have previously received the GRAS label are exempt from screening is concerning to say the least, because if they’re not going to look into the safety and the potential dangers of ingesting these nanoparticles, well then who will?
And the answer appears to be the manufacturers themselves, because further down in this document from the FDA, specifically on page 33, there is a subsections titled, Products not subject to pre-market authorization.
However, manufacturers are still responsible for ensuring that the products they market are safe. For example, cosmetic manufacturers are required to ensure the safety of their products but are not required to provide safety data to the FDA.
In light of the evolving state of the science, the task force believes an appropriate course of action at this time would be for the agency to work with manufacturers of these products and assist them in identifying data to substantiate the safety of products containing nanoscale materials, including chronic toxicity and other long-term toxicity data as appropriate.
FDA Nanotechnology Task Force Report 2007
The FDA appears to recognize the potential dangers of these nanoparticles, but then they go on to suggest that it is still the manufacturer’s own responsibility to ensure that their products are safe, and so what the FDA’s plan appears to be, at least according to their own guidance documents, is to establish some sort of ad hoc relationships with the different product manufacturers in order to pull together the right data to demonstrate product safety, which appears to rely heavily on the good nature of these different companies to be responsible, which is actually evidenced further in another document that the FDA released back in 2018 called FDA’s Approach to Regulation of Nanotechnology Products
Where statutory authority does not provide for pre-market review, consultation is encouraged to reduce the risk of unintended harm to human or animal health. In these cases, FDA relies on publicly available or voluntarily submitted information, adverse event reporting, where applicable, and on post-market surveillance activities to provide oversight.
Where nanotechnology applications are involved, the FDA encourages manufacturers to consult with the agency before taking their products to market. Such consultation can help the FDA to advise companies, review safety information, and design any necessary post-marketing safety oversight.
FDA’s Approach to Regulation of Nanotechnology Products
Now again, I am generally the type of person that gives the benefit of the doubt to most people. However, it’s hard not to make the comparison that this appears to be a case of having the fox guard the henhouse, when the FDA basically is relying on the good nature of profit driven food companies to use this new technology, which fundamentally alters the state of food items with no long-term health studies to support its use.
Furthermore, one of the main reasons that you likely don’t know about these nanoparticle ingredients is because of the fact that the FDA’s guidance explicitly states that companies do not have to place nanotechnology ingredients on the labels of their food products. Here specifically what it says in this guide is that Nanotechnology report again that came from the FDA in 2007.
Because the current science does not support e-finding that classes of products with nanoscale materials necessarily present greater safety concerns than classes of products without nanoscale materials, the FDA nanotechnology task force does not believe there is a basis for saying that as a general matter, a product containing nanoscale materials must be labeled as such.
Therefore, the task force is not recommending that the agency requires such labeling at this time. Instead, the task force recommends that the agency take the following action, address on a case-by-case basis whether labeling must or may contain information on the use of nanoscale materials.
FDA Nanotechnology Task Force Report 2007
That is quite frankly rather cool. The recommendation is that since the science doesn’t suggest that these food products with nanotech present a greater safety risk, well then they don’t need a label.
Even though that same science has no long-term studies on the impacts of such nanotech, and so we as the consumers are quite frankly just left in the dark, which is by the way not even the first time that such a thing has happened in recent memory.
For instance, it took the USDA quite literally over six full years in order to finally give in and force food companies to label their products if they are genetically modified, and that came quite literally after years of public outcry.
However, at this moment, well most people don’t even know about this nanotech food technology and so there is no real public outcry, at least not here in America.
Regardless, if you head on over right now to the FDA’s website and then you go on over to the specific subsection on nanotechnology programs, you will find that after 2007, it took another 13 years for the task force to release another report, which came out in the year 2020, and in that report, there is a chart showing that the number of products using nanotechnology submitted to the FDA for approval has increased dramatically over the past 10 and 20 years.
- 😈 FDA 2020 Nanotech Report:
Now of course not all of that is food. It also includes things like cosmetics, medicines as well as vaccines, which will get to in a moment. However, in regards to food, while the exact number is not exactly known, experts in this field estimate that somewhere between 1900 and 2500 food products are currently on the market using this nanotechnology, and this has created kind of an interesting juxtaposition between America and some other countries in the world.
Because despite the fact that there is scant research on the long-term effects of ingesting nanoparticles, well as we mentioned earlier, the FDA does not require any food items produced with nanoparticles to be labeled as such, and instead the guidelines that they do have recommend oversight on a case by case basis.
However, other nations are not as open-minded you can say as the FDA. In fact, many countries have taken steps to either limit or outright ban either all or some nanotechnology in their nation’s food.
- For instance, in the year 2010, Canada moved to ban the use of all nanotechnology in their organic food production.
- Then in 2011, the European Union began requiring that all food to be labeled if it contains engineered nanomaterials, and then going even further in 2015, the EU began to require additional testing to ensure proper health safety.
- Then in the year 2020, France, which is of course a member of the EU, they went a step further and they outright banned any foods containing titanium dioxide.
- In the summer of 2022, all of the EU will actually join France and no longer allow titanium dioxide. Their reasoning stems from:
Potential concern over accumulation of titanium dioxide particles in the body and possible genotoxicity. Genotoxicity is the ability for a substance to damage DNA, which may lead to cancer.
European Food Safety Authority (EFSA)
Meaning that if you want that sweet, sweet titanium dioxide, well, you’ll have to come all the way here to the US to get it, and for your reference, titanium dioxide gives food a nice white color, and so you can find it in things like milk, coffee, cream, or toothpaste, cakes, pastries, and so on.
Now again, I’m not saying that it’s actually harmful or I’m not saying that it’s actually safe, but at this moment, it’s not 100% known either way.
However, what is known is that the FDA currently allows these nanoparticles to be included in our food items without requiring the actual manufacturing companies themselves to place them on the ingredients label.
So take that out for what you will, but the big question remains, what are the long-term effects of these nanoparticles? And given the fact that they have been shown to be capable of crossing the blood-brain barrier, shouldn’t their effects be mapped out over a long-term scale before they’re injected into people, or even more personally, into our food?
Because although at this moment, these scientific consensus states that these nanoparticles are safe and that they’re nothing to worry about, well, I believe it’s worth reminding you that at one time, not too long ago, lead was used in gasoline. Asbestos was used as a building material, and 20,000 doctors said that lucky strike cigarettes were better than the alternatives.
Now, I’m not directly comparing nanotech and food to things like lead and asbestos, but at the very least, I think that we as Americans have a right to know what’s in our food, as well as what’s in the shots that are mandatory for some of us to take.
I’d like to give a big shout-out to Mr. Eric Schumacher, who is one of the researchers here for Facts Matter, and he helped to pull together and make sense of all these different links and research, and then lastly, if you got something out of this video, I hope you consider sharing this video with your friends, your family, and even your neighbors so that they can know as well about these nanotech particles that they are very likely unwittingly eating. The share button is right there below this video, and then, until next time, I’m your host, Roman from The Epoch Times, stay informed and most importantly, stay free.