Wednesday 18 May 2016

NanoParticles,Baby Formulas and your Earth!

Nutrition plays an important role in the survival of human beings and as such the only factor why the Earth continues to exist asides procreation.

And so when procreation happens and babies are born they latch on to the first dose of Nutrition they can get.

Whether a mother for some reason cant breastfeed, the child is introduced to Formula for its survival.  But to what percentage can we measure the safety of such products? are these products that we give out infants free of unnecessary radicals ?? Do we even know what is in our infant formula these days??

Nanoparticles have been known to be used  the manufacturing industry and are  currently an area of intense scientific interest due to a wide variety of potential applications in biomedical, optical and electronic fields and is indeed extending towards food .

 How beneficial to humanity is this advancement you might ask?
   Nanoparticles are tiny little engineered particles, about 1000x thinner than a human hair!

 They often possess unexpected optical properties as they are small enough to confine their electrons and produce quantum effects

Nanoparticles of titanium dioxide are used in other items like sunscreens because they are colourless at that size and still absorb ultraviolet light

The term ‘nanotechnology’ basically describes the manipulation of things at a really, really small scale, several hundred times smaller than our blood cells. The interesting and also the concerning thing about manipulating materials at this scale is that familiar substances change in ways that scientists may not expect or predict that’s why we need new safety testing before nanoparticles are used in products especially food.

More When you continue..

Is  there a difference in risk from nanomaterials for children vs. adults? With baby formula, infants may be at greater risk of suffering health harms from exposure to nanomaterials because of their more vulnerable physiology. 

Children's immune, central nervous, reproductive and digestive systems are still developing, and at certain early stages of development, exposure to toxicants can lead to irreversible damage which can increase risk of disease later in life.

A recent research by Friends of the earth showed that indeed Nanoparticles are finding their way into food especially baby food!

 They tested a few popular baby food brands which were confirmed to contain nano.

3  different types of nanoparticles were found, including:

● “needle-like” nano hydroxyapatite
● nano TiO2 (titanium dioxide)

● nano silica dioxide

 Test subjects included leading US brands of baby formula : Gerber (owned by Nestle), Enfamil, Similac, and Well Beginnings (Walgreens brand).
Gerber® Good Start® Gentle contained Nano-hydroxyapatite (nano HA)
Similac® Advance® OptiGRO™ (powder) contained Nano silica dioxide
Enfamil™ contained  Nano-hydroxyapatite (nano HA) in needle-like and non needle-like form

On Analysis  it was discovered that nanoparticle ingredients the Formulas contained were not indicated on the label.  There are concerns that the FDA has gone to sleep on this and does not regulate nanoparticles in baby formula, nor does the agency pre screen or test infant formulas before they enter the market. The agency should be able to do more to protect  the World populace.
Consumer Safety (SCCS) found that needle nano-hydroxyapatite is potentially toxic, could  
 be absorbed by and enter cells, and should not be used in cosmetics such as toothpaste,teethwhiteners and mouth washes. A material that should not be used in cosmetics raises greater concern when used in food.  

We need to ask whether the potential benefits of this technology outweigh the potential risks. This likely differs for different uses of the technology .

 we might be willing to take more risks to achieve medical advances, but for consumer products like sunscreen and infant formula, we need to ask whether we need this technology in the first place at all?.​Is it worth risking the health of our children for “benefits” like new nanotechnology colorings, flavorings, and anti-caking agents in our food?

  Nanotechnology is moving fast without oversight or studies on health impacts.  It is currently in the first generation of innovation. In coming years and decades and the next generation nanotechnology is forecast to bring more complex nanodevices, nanosystems, and nanomachines. 

Nanobiotechnology may be used to manipulate the genetics of humans, animals, and agricultural plants at the atomic scale and to incorporate synthetic materials into biological organisms and biological materials into synthetic structures.This is alarming indeed!

Unfortunately there isn’t proof just yet if nanofoods will cause serious harm to our health in the long run. But scientists have already found that feeding mice nanomaterials that are now being used by the food industry can cause liver and kidney damage.Alarming isn’t it?! 

Test tube studies have found that nanomaterials now used by the food industry are toxic to human cells at even very low doses.  Given these really serious early warning signs, we need food regulators to keep unsafe and untested nanomaterials out of our foods.  
  A study using pregnant mice found that nanoparticles of titanium dioxide were transferred from mother to offspring and was associated with brain damage, nerve system damage and reduced sperm production in male offspring. Nano silica dioxide ,Nano silica has also been found in the livers of rats and mice after oral administration. 

In vitro studies show a significant percentage of the Nano silica remains undissolved and that “the presence of undissolved Nano silica particles in the gut in vivo is considered likely”.  
So Why are companies using these nanoparticles in baby formula? Nano HA is most likely a calcium source for the formula, or could be used as an abrasive, bulking and emulsion stabilizer. However the needle-form is more commonly used in oral and bone surgeries. Iron nano is a nutritional supplementation in food and beverage products as well as vehicle for drug delivery in clinical applications. It could be used to keep the formula white while providing iron supplementation; larger scales could change the color of Calcium used in foods and supplements contains varying amounts of actual elemental calcium. 

 So How does FDA regulate formulas? The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is charged with ensuring baby formulas are safe, however, the FDA does not approve the safety of infant formulas before they can be marketed. The FDA requires that baby formulas meet certain nutritional requirements and are screened for pathogens, and companies must register with the FDA and provide a notice before marketing a formula. However, these rules do not include screening or safety testing of nanomaterials or other potentially toxic synthetic ingredients.

 Baby formulas are intended for our most vulnerable population and should be regulated with the utmost of care. A product fed to millions of infants should not be permitted to go to market if we are not certain that the ingredients it contains are safe for human consumption. All infant formulas should be thoroughly tested for safety. 

  The US regulatory inaction means a failure to protect public health and the environment. ​In stark contrast to the EU, the United States has not developed any mandatory regulations or safety assessments for nanomaterials used in food or consumer products. It is important for U.S. consumers to know that manufacturers are not required to list nanomaterial ingredients on product packaging in the United States. Friends of the Earth did not find any baby formulas that listed nanoparticles as such suggestions on what the FDA  should do are

● Enact a moratorium on new commercial nanotech products

● Assess safety (test) and recall baby formulas with nanoparticle ingredients

 ● Regulate nanomaterials as novel substances 

● Extend the size-based definition of nanomaterials up to 500 nm in size

 ● Protect workers

● Label products that contain nanomaterials  

 The  industry  should also be able to 

● Recall formula containing nanomaterials

● Remove nanomaterials from product formulas 
● Create nanomaterial policies 
● Ensure transparency in the supply chain  
 Consumers  can also protect themselves by 

● Breastfeeding when and if possible,
● Hold government and industry accountable:

 Join Friends of the Earth to demand a moratorium on the use of nanotechnology in the food sector and urge policy makers to regulate and label food, food packaging and agricultural products containing manufactured nanomaterials  

 ● Contact baby formula manufacturers and ask them to remove nanomaterials from their products Visit  Friends of the earth website  to learn more about nanotechnology and take action.

  If we are to embrace nanotechnology, is to be developed safely, responsibly and transparently, there is an urgent need for further research and dissemination of information to policy makers, regulators, consumers and the scientific community.  

  If we are to embrace nanotechnology, is to be developed safely, responsibly and transparently, there is an urgent need for further research and dissemination of information to policy makers, regulators, consumers and the scientific community.  

   This is a new and cutting edge field of science and the more information we have the better the decisions we will make with regard to nano in food products. More independent scientific analysis should be carried out  to discern where nano ingredients are being used and what the health risks may be and a future where our children can eat safe, fresh and healthy food. 

People should be entitled to have a choice  on which road to take. People should have the right to say no to nanofood if that’s what they want. We do need labeling and safety assessment before these ingredients enter our food or consumer products, but we also need the government to ask people if they want nanofood at all. When it comes to food, it’s really important for people to have a choice  and this should include being able to say no to nanofoods .

What we need right now is support for food and farming that is safe for us, safe for our environment  and the world at large!

 Support our friends over at friends of the Earth  to create a safe, just, resilient and sustainable food system.
Follow the Hastag #NanoBabyFormula on social media for more insight

You can also join The Mamavation Facebook party on thursday 19th May 2016  there are prizes to be won!

 ..................................................................................................................................................................This Post was sponsored by friends of the Earth in collaboration with Bookieboo LLC and Mamavation 

All views expressed are mine. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Your comments are very much appreciated.Thanks for Stopping by!

Need To contact me?

Twitter: @shalliebee