What's the Latest?
The Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies has identified 96 food products currently on the shelves of US grocery stores which contain microscopic pieces of metal. "Examples include Dannon Greek Plain Yogurt, Silk Original Soy Milk, Rice Dream Rice Drink, Hershey's Bliss Dark Chocolate, and Kraft's iconic American Cheese Singles, all of which now contain nano-size titanium dioxide." The nano particle titanium dioxide is used as color enhancer, brightening bright colors and darkening the already-darks. As of 2008, only eight American food products were known to contain nano particles, representing a tenfold increase in just six years.
What's the Big Idea?
The obvious question is whether it is safe for humans to consume these tiny particles? The FDA both recognizes that nano materials function differently than their macroscopic versions and that there are no plans to slow or regulate their introduction into the food supply. In 2012, the FDA released a draft statement concerning the need for a future regulatory framework: "[S]o-called nano-engineered food substances can have significantly altered bioavailability and may, therefore, raise new safety issues that have not been seen in their traditionally manufactured counterparts." Do you know what's in your yogurt?