Emerging liability risks: Nanotechnology in food

This risk bulletin examines nanotechnology and its applications to the insurance industry, especially to the food and beverage sectors where use of nanotechnology is growing due to its engineered addition into agriculture processes, food ingredients and processing, food packaging and nutritional supplements. It has been prepared by Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty (AGCS) and Praedicat, a leading think tank for casualty risk analytics.

Nanotechnology is projected to contribute $3tn to the global economy by 2020, and some researchers estimate that around a third of that will be in the “agrifood” industry. Human exposure to nanoparticles is increasing, including via agricultural uses, food ingredients, food packaging and nutritional supplements.

The nanotechnology liability insurance landscape is attempting to keep pace with the technology but it is a challenge. The inherent risks to product recall, food and beverage safety and third party liability are enormous– but improved research and regulations will bring new opportunities for risk mitigation. One of the chief insurance tasks will be to assess the risks across the entire life cycle of nanomaterials and to respond accordingly with new products that ensure risk management criteria and insurability to businesses.

Working closely with clients and brokers, AGCS aims to better understand how companies mitigate the potential risks associated with nanotechnology in order to provide appropriate insurance solutions that protect businesses and their brand. In partnering with Praedicat, scientific analyses and viewpoints are added to ensure academic depth in our underwriting.

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