Hippies Ban Chemicals – Nanotech Industry Flustered

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Back to the Future?

In the silliest story of the year so far, the Soil Association, a UK organisation which provides a certification process for organic food, has announced that products will not be certified as organic if they contain additives “made by the burgeoning nanotechnology industry” according to the Financial Times.

I’m sure that I won’t be the only person to find this rather peculiar. In order to be certified as organic by the Soil Association, food is not allowed to contain any chemicals such as fertilizers and pesticides, any genetically modified materials (although plant breeding is presumably OK otherwise we’d all be still eating grass), and probably soon required to be tilled by human labour and fertilized with night soil. Now nanotechnology (or at least particles with a size smaller than 125nm) has been added to the list of banned substances.

Why on earth nanotech has been singled out is a mystery. Its is akin to announcing that a synthetic chemical such as paracetamol will not be certified as natural. I’m pretty certain that nanomaterials companies  would never have attempted to get their products certified as organic so banning the is rather pointless.

I am also sure that no one would ever expect products containing nanomaterials or any other chemicals whether labelled or not to be acceptable to people living in teepees in a sodden Welsh field, so this is a bit of a non story. The earthy types at the Association admitted as much as “Gundula Azeez, Soil Association policy manager, said the nano ban would not affect any products immediately but would send a signal for the future.”

Don’t these people realise the environmental havoc they are wreaking with these non announcements? By putting out a press release stating the obvious and getting the press and the ‘nanotechnology industry” all of a twitter they have probably generated more carbon dioxide than the Japanese whaling fleet?

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