You Think GMO Is Scary? Nano Tech is Here, In Your Store

You Think GMO Is Scary? Nano Tech is Here, In Your Store

Nanotechnology is measured in billionths of a meter, encompassing all aspects of life from food to medicine, clothing, to space. Imagine hundreds of microcomputers on the width of a strand of hair programmed for specific your body. Sound good?

Engineering at a molecular level may be a future corporations' dream come true, however, nano-particles inside your body have few long-term studies especially when linked to health issues. Despite this new huge income-generating field there is a growing body of toxicological information suggesting that nanotechnology when consumed can cause brain damage (as shown in largemouth bass), and therefore should undergo a full safety assessment.

It is possible for nano-particles to slip through the skin, suggestive of a potential unnatural interaction with the immune system, or when micro particles enter the blood-stream. Some sunscreens on the shelf today, for instance, have nano-particles that might be able to penetrate the skin, move between organs, with unknown health effects. Nano-particles in cosmetics have few regulations done by FDA. 

Thomas Faunce, of the Australian National University, who holds an Australian Research Council fellowship that looks at public nanotechnology health issues, said study's findings are significant and strengthens the case for mandatory labeling, and that stringent safety data should be required from manufacturers.'' Research is showing that nano-particles have the capacity to damage living cells and the precautionary principle should be applied,'' he said.

In 2005, The Helmut Kaiser Consultancy Group, global leaders in pro-nanotechnology, stated that about 300 nano-food products were available on the market worldwide estimating that market alone was worth 5.4 billion dollars in the USA. That was then.

By 2015, (just a few years away) they predict that nanotechnology will be used in 40% of the food industries. According to these consultants, by 2040, nano-produced food, with correct nutritional composition, maintaining the same taste and texture of organically produced food, will be commonplace, the norm. 

It is clear that nanotechnology is already in the in some food and cosmetics, (including anti aging products and sunscreens).  'Smart' packaging and tracking, is ubiquitous. Invisible, (to the naked eye and some microscopes), edible nano-wrappers, complete with bar codes can track not only early spoilage, but improve the taste of food, or, whatever is called food.  Manufacturers are excited because the availability of food would no longer be affected by limited resources, bad crop weather, water problems, etc.  A modern way to feed the world.

Oh, don't expect an informative label on nano-particles in your products. Although marketers are thrilled to present benefits to make wrinkles vanish, or illuminate skin flawlessly, there are health and unknown downsides.  

Where is the public debate, on the labeling of nano particles in your foods, or cosmetics, or the risks? Probably no where...Political leaders are still arguing on requiring GMO (genetically modified) labeling, it seems.

When lab rats are starved, and given a choice to eat organic potatoes or GMO, they go right to the organic. When only given the GMO potato they will eat it, or starve to death... (studies have shown severe damage subsequently). What do rats know?

So the next time you reach for something that say's 'smart'...think about what that means. Learn what you can about the source of what you put in, or on your body. Smart mini micro computers to control your skin and body fluids? 



Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of GreenMedInfo or its staff.

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Nanotechnology & Nanotoxicity

I came across your link on a facebook page, and given that my field is nanotechnology, I would like to speak on this. To date research is being done on the impact of nanotechnology has yielded mixed results. Some good, some bad. This is the same with any technology. We can use it to get more energy out of nuclear power plants, that are already built, therefore saving us from having to rape the environment any more than it already has been. We are using it to search out ways to create solar cells with decent power efficiencies to move away from dependency on fossil fuels. I do not know if this will be realized in our time. In medicine, nanotechnology is being used (bottom up nanotechnology generally - meaning that we use already present materials, and their properties to build capsules) called micelles, or other nanoparticulate entities which can house drugs that can and will fight cancer much better than current radiation techniques. Current research shows gold nanoparticles accumulate in areas where cancer is prevalent, allowing for imaging of cancerous areas of the body, with near perfect accuracy. It also allows for a mechanism in which to treat it, since gold nanoparticles vibrate on different frequencies. There is some thought that a simple MRI device could potentially kill off these cancerous cells. Additionally, nanotechnology in medicine has been used to provide drugs to osteoporosis sufferers. HTCC - a chitosan nanoparticle which is biodegradable etc., (chitosan is the the second most commonly found source next to cellulose on our planet) this means that housed in this nanoparticle, the drug - a parathyroid hormone is delivered specifically to its target. This means that patients who take pills once a week, will now be able to take one dose per year, or two at maximum. Now this is not to say that you and I should not be wary of how nanotech is being used. There are other methods mostly top down methods that are incredibly wasteful and produce toxic substances. So we should be focusing on knowledge pertaining to this field, and ensuring that proper methods are taken to regulate it. Nanotoxicology is a field that will quickly grow, as it should. However, we shouldn't immediately forego a technology because there have been some issues with it. That would almost be akin to choosing to never use an automobile. We use it, but we make sure we don't abuse it.

Nanotechnology & Nanotoxicity

Thank you for your thoughtful reply. I agree with you on not foregoing a technology just because there are issues....but, as you say, we need to make sure we don't abuse it.


Nanoparticle Toxicity

Excellent article! Especially timely when we realize that on pubmed alone there presently are 4,984 articles referring to "nanoparticle toxicity" and 61,572 under the search term "nanoparticle"... For instance a new July 26 2012 listing:

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