Written by Dena Schmidt
(NaturalHealth365) Six popular types of infant formula were recently tested for additives, and all six showed the presence of harmful nanoparticles. This is a major cause for concern, as these engineered particles pose a serious threat to personal health and safety.
The baby formula brands included Gerber Good Start Soothe, Gerber Good Start Gentle, Similac Advance OptiGRO (powder), Similac Advance OptiGRO (liquid), Well Beginnings Advantage and Enfamil. The Enfamil company is owned by Mead Johnson, Gerber is owned by Nestlé, Well Beginnings is owned by the Walgreens corporation, and Similac is owned by Abbott Laboratories.
Nanoparticles in food: An innovative nutritional ‘enhancement’ or scary science?
The nanoparticles detected included silicon dioxide and titanium dioxide. Hydroxyapatite was also found in three of the six baby formulas; it is a calcium-rich but poorly soluble mineral. At high magnification, these particles look sharp and menacing.
However, some food scientists suggest that they are a ‘good source’ of dietary calcium. Can you believe it?!
Nanoparticles refer to a tiny unit of measurement, the nanometer. It is just one billionth of a meter, a particle unviewable by the naked eye or a regular microscope. So, you may be wondering – ‘what’s the big deal’ with such a small measurement, right?
Nanotechnology is an emerging field with a wide range of applications, including food additives, cosmetics and appliances. Concerns regarding nanoparticles are related to the fact that they can so easily penetrate through the skin, lungs, digestive system, and potentially the blood-brain barrier.
The Natural Resources Defense Council and other groups have have questioned the safety of nanoparticles in consumer products. While some may pose little threat, others could render them totally unsafe for human consumption.
Safety and long-term effects of nanoparticles in baby formula not adequately tested
The presence of nanoparticles in baby food is particularly concerning, as babies are among the most vulnerable of our society. Their bodies and brains of children are still developing, and not enough research has been done regarding the long-term effects of nanoparticles in infant formula and other foods.
Toxicity from nanoparticles could be related to their shape, the ratio of surface area to volume, electrical charge or other chemical properties. Concerns about the specific nanoparticles found in baby formulas range from the risk of infants inhaling them (and damaging their lungs) or eating them and triggering an unwanted allergic reaction.
The independent laboratory studies were commissioned by Friends of the Earth and took place at an Arizona State University nanotechnology research facility. The samples were collected from retail sellers of the infant formula in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Controversy around use of nanoparticles in foods on par with GMO concerns
The gross lack of information about nanoparticles is what’s most concerning about them. There is tremendous uncertainty and lack of transparency from the food industry. Consumer advocacy groups say there is potential for the nanoparticle issue to become another battle on the scale of the GMO food controversy.
Larger companies like Kraft Foods and McDonald’s have said they would not use nanotechnology in their foods until science confirms their safety. However, at this time, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not categorically designate nanomaterials in foods as harmful.
Also, it should be noted that, disclosure of the use of nanoparticles in food products is not required.
What can you do? Continue to be discerning about any and all processed foods you buy. (or, avoid them) When in doubt, boycott the product. As always, favor organic and locally-sourced food choices, whenever possible.
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Originally posted @ Natural Health 365