The Next Food Technology Worry?

It's nanotechnology.  A blog post at Scientific American raises concerns about the use of nanotech in food.  According to the piece:

A new report from an environmental health group, As You Sow, raises concern about nanoparticles in some popular sweets. The group says it found particles of titanium dioxide less than 10 nanometers in size in the powdered sugar coating on donuts from Dunkin’ and Hostess (now sadly defunct). The group argues that the nanoparticles have no business in any kind of food until safety testing is done; in this case, the tiny bits could make donuts even unhealthier.
Nano-sized particles, roughly one-billionth of a meter in diameter (much smaller than the width of a human hair), have been in food for decades at least, often an unintentional byproduct of processing techniques. But a whole range of novel nano-sized particles—ranging from tiny flakes of titanium dioxide to whiten powdered donuts to submicroscopic silver bits to kill microbes—are showing up today in food and food packaging on purpose.

Are these nanotechnologies dangerous?  I don't know.  I do know scientists have been working for years on a variety of nano-tech developments and many products we use today (particularly sunscreen) have nanoparticles.  

It will be interesting to see if nano-tech becomes the next bio-tech in attracting controversy.  I suspect it will be harder to vilify nano-tech foods (should we call them NTFs?) relative to GMOs.  The reason is that many of the nanotech developments were developed specifically with the consumer in mind to make their end-experience better by improving shelf life (often through improved packaging), nutrition, and taste.  These are much more tangible benefits for the consumer than the harder-to-see benefits that have accrued via food biotechnology (mainly reduction in the price of food).  Moreover, unlike GMOs, for NTFs it will be harder to find a company like Monsanto around which conspiracy theories can form.