Business

USDA Gives $3.8 Million in Grants to Develop and Promote Nanotech in Food

19.05.2015  |  00:18
USDA Gives $3.8 Million in Grants to Develop and Promote Nanotech in Food

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) is giving millions of dollars to universities across America for the development and study of nanotechnology to be used in food.

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) is giving millions of dollars to universities across America for the development and study of nanotechnology to be used in food.

Despite research existing on the potential concerns over health and safety of nanotech in food, the USDA wants to push forward with nanotech in full force. This agency of the government is known for its revolving door relationship with Big Food.

A statement from the Center for Food Safety sums up the health concerns well:

“The subject of nanotechnology and our food supply offers an alarming view of the potential for human health issues. Amazingly, the U.S. government currently does not regulate the use of nanotechnology in food products, despite its widespread use and serious public health concerns. Europe and the Canadian government have taken the first steps to limit the use of nanotechnology in food, but the U.S. has so far only issued draft guidelines to companies.”

So what is this nanotechnology exactly? That’s a complicated question. According to the USDA, “Nanomaterials can occur naturally, for example in volcanic ash and ocean spray, and may also be incidental byproducts of human activity, such as homogenization or milling. They can also be produced intentionally with specific properties through certain chemical or physical processes.”

These intentionally created nanomaterials have been in use in the US food supply for

inside_article
over ten years — mostly in packaging and processing. According to UnderstandingNano.com,

“Clay nanocomposites are being used to provide an impermeable barrier to gasses such as oxygen or carbon dioxide in lightweight bottles, cartons and packaging films. Storage bins are being produced with silver nanoparticles embedded in the plastic. The silver nanoparticles kill bacteria from any material that was previously stored in the bins, minimizing health risks from harmful bacteria.”

Nanotech is increasingly being pursued for use directly in the food we eat, rather than just in the packaging. According to Popular Mechanics:

“The most commonly used nanoparticle in foods is titanium dioxide. It’s used to make foods such as yogurt and coconut flakes look as white as possible, provide opacity to other food colorings, and prevent ingredients from caking up. Nanotech isn’t just about aesthetics, however. The biggest potential use for this method involves improving the nutritional value of foods.

“Nano additives can enhance or prevent the absorption of certain nutrients. In an email interview with Popular Mechanics, Jonathan Brown, a research fellow at the University of Minnesota, says this method could be used to make mayonnaise less fattening by replacing fat molecules with water droplets.”

There has been a 1000% increase in nanotech used for food since 2008 and is now being deployed by major companies including Kraft, General Mills, Hershey, Nestle, Mars, Unilever, Smucker’s and Albertsons.

USDA Gives $3.8 Million in Grants to Develop and Promote Nanotech in Food. 416.jpegThis is where the $3.8 million in USDA grants come in. According to the PDF released by the USDA, the grants entail;

“University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI $450,100 | Tailor polyanhydride nanoparticles to encapsulate and release antibiotics to protect shrimp against bacterial pathogens.”

“Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA $447,788 | Obtain a basic understanding of starch-nanoclay interactions in dispersion; evaluate the disintegration, release, and antimicrobial properties of cross-linked, crystallized, and iodine-loaded starch fibers; determine the effect of alignment and drawing on thermomechanical properties of starch fibers; and assess the feasibility of using a multi-jet electrospinning setup to scale the electrospinning process for starch fiber production.”

“Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ $450,000 | Complete a national survey that will examine the acceptance of food nanotechnology; assess consumers’ beliefs about the relationship of nanotechnology to healthfulness; evaluate acceptability of nanomaterials in functional foods and pet food applications; examine the acceptable characteristics of nano-enabled smart food packaging; assess use value of visuals communicating the potential for nanotechnology; and examine how consumers use visuals to interpret nanotechnology concepts.”

The Rutgers University grant reveals that the USDA will be funding market research to directly benefit the businesses seeking to manufacture and market nanotechnology for food.

What are the real implications of this? There’s one thing for sure; the element of power is a very necessary thing to consider. With all technology like this, monopolization and hierarchical structures are a potential problem. The USDA and other health oversight agencies have a long track record of approving controversial practices used in our food that later turn out to have deadly health and environmental impacts. Understanding the current players in the agro-tech business including Monsanto and Syngenta, you can see how this could end badly.

The implications of this are significant for the future of Agorism, sustainable food, independent agricultural business, monopolization of food, the health of the people consuming this food, and much more.

No one is saying that nanotech in food is inherently bad, but with the history of the organizations funding this technology, people are naturally suspicious. More research is needed and concerns must be addressed before nanotech in our food becomes our next big mistake.

Please share this with as many people as possible. It is relevant to everyone.




Print versionPrint version

Articles
Depopulation: Plastics chemicals are reducing women s sex drives and men s sperm counts Depopulation: Plastics chemicals are reducing women's sex drives and men's sperm counts
New research out of the University of Rochester in New York has found that the plastics chemicals lurking in furniture, food packaging and many other consumer products are directly linked to decreased...
Ginger tea shown to naturally kill cancer, dissolve kidney stones, improve liver health and more Ginger tea shown to naturally kill cancer, dissolve kidney stones, improve liver health and more
Ginger is another example of a 'superfood' that has been prized for thousands of years for its amazing health benefits, and which is now being scientifically proven to have more beneficial properties than...
The IMF Just Entered The Cold War – Forgives Ukraine’s Debt To Russia The IMF Just Entered The Cold War – Forgives Ukraine’s Debt To Russia
Since 1947 when it really started operations, the World Bank has acted as a branch of the U.S. Defense Department, from its first major chairman John J. McCloy through Robert McNamara to Robert Zoellick...
Right Now There Are 102.6 Million Working Age Americans That Do Not Have A Job NATO Prepares to Send Troops to Protect Turkey from Russian “Threats” The Real Reasons Saudi Arabia Hates Iran McCain wants to shoot down Russian planes attacking Islamists
It’s Official – UK Admits “Human Rights” No Longer a Priority of British Foreign Policy It’s Official – UK Admits “Human Rights” No Longer a Priority of British Foreign Policy
Not that they ever were, but they’ve finally decided to be honest about it. Which to be honest, is pretty scary.
Over Half of E.U. Countries Are Opting Out of GMOs Over Half of E.U. Countries Are Opting Out of GMOs
Sixteen countries have alerted the European Union that they want to opt out of E.U.-approved GM crops.
Proxy Wars: U.S. to arm Kurdish and Arab fighters in Syria Proxy Wars: U.S. to arm Kurdish and Arab fighters in Syria
President Obama has decided not to directly confront Russia over its new air offensive in Syria, believing that President Vladi­mir Putin will soon find himself in a Syrian “quagmire,” but he has approved...
Oregon Shooter's Links To Military Cops Rupture Handcuffed Man’s Spleen, Laugh at Him, Take Pics as He Lay Dying and Begging U.S. Politicians Are Asked About Saudi Atrocities... Here's What Happened Next AMERICAN jihadi is 'top ISIS commander': Yazidi slave reveals that she was beaten and held captive by US citizen who directs attacks and keeps vial of poison to kill himself if he is caught