This post was created as part of the Friend of the Earth Blogger Partnership in which I am a financially compensated blogger ambassador for Friends of the Earth. My opinions are my own and based on my own experience.
TAKE ACTION TODAY! Say No to NanoParticles
After reading the Friends of the Earth Nano Report, I’m upset and needed to share with our readers about Nanoparticles in Baby Formula. We need to know what we are putting in our bodies and our children’s bodies. Also, if we don’t like what is happening, then we also have to take a stand and get things changed. As consumers I think we just assume everything we are eating and drinking are safe because why would anyone want to give us harmful ingredients. Well, guess what we need to STOP ASSUMING and do our research these days. Read about products, inform yourself before you take the word on a box or label. Check what those crazy long words mean on labels- educate yourself to protect your family!
Here is the FULL Downloadable Report and Press Release– Highly recommend you reading it and sharing with family and friends!
Friends of the Earth commissioned laboratory analysis of popular baby formulas to find out if they contain nanoparticles. There is little information available for consumers to learn about where these ingredients are used in products and what the risks might be. We have known for at least a decade that there are health risks associated with nanomaterials. We wanted to find out more about what products contain nano. We ended up finding out that all six baby formulas we tested contain nano.Three (3)different types of nanoparticles were found, including:● “needle-like” nano hydroxyapatite● nano TiO2 (titanium dioxide)● nano silica dioxideThey tested leading US brands of baby formula, including: Gerber (owned by Nestle), Enfamil, Similac, and Well Beginnings (Walgreens brand). These nanoparticle ingredients are not indicated on the label. We are also concerned that FDA does not regulate nanoparticles in baby formula, nor does the agency pre screen or test infant formulas before they enter the market. We believe the agency can do more to protect this vulnerable population. Friends of the Earth is especially concerned about the nano hydroxyapatite in needle form found in the Gerber, Enfamil, and Well Beginnings formula. The European Union Scientific Committee on 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, teeth whiteners 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. For example, as a society, 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.Is it worth risking the health of our children for “benefits” like new nanotechnology colorings, flavorings, and anti-caking agents in our food? More risk in the future if not addressed: The technology is moving fast without oversight or studies on health impacts. Nanotechnology is currently in the first generation of innovation. In coming years and decades, the next generation nanotechnology is forecast to bring more complex nanodevices, nanosystems, and nanomachines.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. Why are we concerned? Unfortunately, we don’t know whether eating nanofoods will cause serious harm to our health in the long term. But scientists have already found that feeding mice nanomaterials that are now being used by the food industry can cause liver and kidney damage.
There are also plenty of peers reviewed scientific studies that suggest nanoparticles can be dangerous for our bodies and the environment.
Nanoparticles pose new risks because:● They can be more chemically reactive and more bioactive than larger particles of the same chemicals.● Due to their very small size, nanoparticles have been demonstrated to be more likely than larger particles to enter cells, tissues and organs.● Greater bioavailability and greater bioactivity may introduce new toxicity risks.Are nanoparticles used in other kinds of products? Many nanomaterials have already entered wide-scale commercial use and can be found in hundreds of products, including transparent sunscreens; light-diffracting cosmetics; penetration enhanced moisturisers; stain-, moisture- and odor-repellent fabrics; long-lasting paints and furniture varnishes; antibacterial household appliances such as vacuum cleaners, refrigerators and air conditioners; and sporting equipment. Beyond baby formulas, children’s products that contain engineered nanoparticles include skincare products and sunscreens, supplements, food containers, pacifiers, teethers, blankets, toys and stuffed animals, baby bottles, toothbrushes, baby carriages, bibs, baby clothing and many other products. Are there alternatives available for baby formula? The nano TiO2 could be replaced with other ingredients, Dunkin Donuts was able to source an alternative for their products. (Refer to As You Sow: http://www.asyousow.org/companies/dunkin-donuts/)What should the FDA do?● 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 nanomaterialsWhat should the industry do?● Recall formula containing nanomaterials● Remove nanomaterials from product formulas● Create nanomaterial policies● Ensure transparency in the supply chainWhat can consumers do?● Breastfeed 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
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