28 Pages Posted: 3 Jan 2016 Last revised: 23 Jul 2017
Date Written: January 1, 2016
In recent years, controversies regarding 3D printing have been on the rise, with questions broadly raised over its regulation and intellectual property. Yet, legal scholars have overlooked the legal issues arising specifically from 3D-printed food. This Article fills this gap as the first to look at the issues surrounding 3D-printed food. The 3D printer will soon be another kitchen appliance. 3D printers can now print food, ranging from ordinary meal to personalized nutrition to edible growth (i.e. growable food). These new possibilities bring along new challenges as well. Two major issues will soon face 3D-printed food: safety and labeling.
This Article looked at the safety and labeling issues surrounding 3D-printed food in-depth through seven scenarios. For the safety of short-term consumption of 3D-printed food, there are two food-poisoning scenarios: (1) one or a few individuals are poisoned from consuming 3D-printed food, or (2) a large number of people are poisoned. In contrast, long-term modification of eating habits could lead to necessarily permanent changes within the human body in order to adapt to a new diet of consuming strictly 3D-printed food. More research regarding the safety of consuming 3D-printed food is necessary to explore the legal dimension of 3D-printed food further.
The Article then explored the labeling issues in four hypothetical scenarios: (1) a big corporation that foodprints the majority of the package or the entire food package to sell to the mass population, (2) a big corporation that foodprints only a small portion of the packaged food to sell to the mass population, (3) a grocery store that foodprints sushi on sight before packaging it and selling to the local community, or (4) an individual who foodprints a meal at home.
Keywords: 3D printing, 3D-printed food, foodprinting, bioprinting, safety, labeling
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By Phoebe Li