Organic is under threat yet again.
This time it’s by the use of nanomaterials and nanotechnologies in organic production systems.

The National Organic Standards Board has as of yet failed to recommend a ban on nanotechnologies and nanomaterials in organic, despite strong evidence of health and environmental risks from some nanomaterials and overwhelming public sentiment that use of the technology, like genetic engineering, goes against the core principles of organic.

Nanotechnology is the deliberate engineering of materials, structures, and systems at the atomic and molecular level. It is a platform technology that will work hand-in-hand with genetic engineering and pesticides to further entrench our current industrial agricultural systems. Examples already in progress include nano-engineering of food and food packaging to allow further transport, nano-encapsulating of substances in food and nano-size pesticides, increasing their toxicity. There are also huge health and environmental risks.

Many of the world’s leading food companies are investing heavily in nanotechnology applications for food and food packaging. The European Parliament has called for nanotechnology to be prohibited for all food. U.S. regulators have so far ignored nano-food regulations. This is despite a growing presence of nano-enabled food packaging, the beginnings of a nano-food market, and calls for reform by the U.S. Government Accountability Office.

In its Guidance Document – Engineered Nanotechnology in Organic Production, Processing and Packaging – the NOSB acknowledges the existence of “overwhelming agreement within the organic industry to prohibit nanotechnology in organic production and processing.” NOSB has already debated the topic for over two years. Yet, some NOSB members would rather hold a further symposium to talk about imagined obstacles to implementing a ban on nano in organic food production than acting swiftly to protect organic integrity. These symposiums are typically used by industry as a delaying tactic.

We cannot let industry pressure leave the door open for the future use of nano when the evidence is clear that it threatens to undermine consumer confidence in organic.

Tell the NOSB to do the right thing and prohibit nanotechnology in the Organic Standards now! Add your name to the petition here.

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