EFSA established in 2010 the Network for Risk Assessment of Nanotechnologies in Food and Feed to enhance cooperation, exchange of information and risk assessment prioritisation,between EFSA and EU MS’son nanomaterials.
The specific objectives of this Network are to:
- Facilitate harmonisation of assessment practices and methodologies by sharing best practices of risk assessment, discussing ongoing issues in risk assessment to avoid duplication and divergent opinions, and discussing new guidance under development or developed for risk assessment of applications of nanotechnologies;
- Enhance exchange of information and data between EFSA and MS by discussing issues of availability and quality of data required for risk assessment purposes, sharing information and experience in data collection and surveillance, and identifying and mapping expertise in specific areas and on specific issues for risk assessment of applications of nanotechnologies;
- Achieve synergies in risk assessment activities by discussing priorities for risk assessment and new scientific developments and identifying priority research needs and common themes and areas for mutual cooperation.
Upon request from the European Commission, the Scientific Committee subsequently provided in April 2011 guidance for assessing the potential risks arising from applications of nanoscience and nanotechnologies to food, feed and pesticides.
During 2017, the Network contributed to the draft guidance document for risk assessment of nanotechnologies in the food and feed chain: Part 1, human health, which will be ready to be launched for public consultation from January-March 2018.
The publication of this annual report informs the public, stakeholders and research communities about elements of risk assessment that need expert advice or further development.
EFSA is closely following developments in the area of nanotechnologies in food and feed in order to address the need to provide further specific guidance where possible. However, there is however still a lack of data and a lack of harmonized and validated methodologies on crucial elements of the risk assessment.