As You Sow’s first-of-its-kind framework is designed to help food companies make informed decisions regarding sourcing products containing nanomaterials.
The Framework presents:
- An introduction to key terms and issues
- The current state of regulations and risks
- Recommendations for companies on what to ask suppliers who offer food products and packaging that contain nanomaterials
- Best practices from existing scientific, industry, and governmental frameworks
The Framework came about when several investor groups, after reading about a surge of nanomaterials in the food industry, contacted iconic global food companies to find out more about these products. What emerged from the shareholder dialogues was a very different picture. None of the companies contacted are currently using nanomaterials, yet most were not initially aware if they were or not. All of the companies were trying to better understand the potential safety concerns and seem to be taking a precautionary approach to using nanotechnology. It became clear that better communication was needed between companies and their suppliers to avoid the risk of inadvertent exposure.
More than a dozen leading food companies, scientific organizations, and investor groups gave input and reviewed the Framework including: Kraft, McDonald’s, PepsiCo, Whole Foods, and Yum! Brands; the Center for Food Safety, Consumers Union, Project on Emerging Nanotechnology, International Center for Technology Assessment, Natural Resources Defense Council, and the Technical University of Denmark; As You Sow, Calvert Investments, and the Investor Environmental Health Network.
The Framework will be distributed widely throughout the food and food packaging industries. It is our hope that the framework will help promote more in-depth and transparent testing of products containing nanomaterials in order to best assure the safety of food and beverage products.