Following our spring release of Slipping Through the Cracks: An Issue Brief on Nanomaterials in Food, As You Sow successfully ran an online crowdfunding campaign to test M&Ms and Pop-Tarts, among other foods, for potentially harmful nanomaterials. The lab results are back, and they show consumers have good reason to be concerned.
Both products contain nanomaterials that have undergone little or no safety testing. Research shows that these tiny particles are so small that they can easily penetrate cell walls and slip into organs, including the brain, with infants and children particularly susceptible. However, no companies that we are aware of disclose the presence of nanoparticles in their food products or food packaging. In fact, companies often are not even aware that nanomaterials may be moving into their products through their supply chains.
As You Sow is working to ensure that companies do not use nanoparticles until they are proven safe. To date there has been a lack of funding for long-term studies on the effects of various nanoparticles, while the research available has raised concerns about the impact of nanomaterials on human health and the environment.
“Public concern about nanomaterials in food are well justified, as our test results demonstrate,” stated Andrew Behar, CEO of As You Sow. “Families have the right to ask that these materials not be used in foods or, at the very least, that foods to be labeled so consumers can make informed purchasing decisions. If nanoparticles are being found in children’s sweets, where else might they be hiding? Without adequate testing and disclosure, consumers have no way of knowing.”