Food Standards Agency Sets Targets For CBD Industry And Issues Consumer Safety Guidance
The FSA has set a deadline for CBD firms to provide further detail on CBD products and their content. It also advises that vulnerable groups do not take CBD, and that healthy adults consume no more than 70mg a day.
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) is giving the CBD sector a deadline of 31 March 2021 to request legitimate applications for the authorisation of novel products. Those goods which have filed a legitimate application will be allowed to stay on the market after 31 March next year. The authorisation process guarantees that new foods, including on health and material, follow legal standards.
Local authorities impose the law on innovative foods. During this time, they were told that businesses should be able to market their current CBD goods because they are not incorrectly labelled, are not unsafe to eat and do not contain drugs that come under drug law.
However, today the FSA is warning those who are pregnant, breastfeeding or take other medication not to ingest CBD related products. It’s also advised that healthy adults think carefully before taking CBD, not more than 70 mg a day (about 28 drops of 5 percent CBD) is recommended by the FSA except under medical guidance. The latest precautionary advice is based on recent findings from the Toxicity Committee (COT) of the UK.
Food Standards Agency chief executive Emily Miles said:
CBD products are widely available on the high street but are not properly authorised. The CBD industry must provide more information about the safety and contents of these products to the regulator before 31 March 2021, or the products will be taken off the shelves.
Also today, we are advising that CBD could be risky for vulnerable groups, and suggesting an upper limit of 70mg a day for everyone else taking the product.
The actions that we’re taking today are a pragmatic and proportionate step in balancing the protection of public health with consumer choice. It’s now up to industry to supply this information so that the public can be reassured that CBD is safe and what it says it is.
The Chair of the Toxicity Panel, Professor Alan Boobis said:
My committee has reviewed the evidence on CBD food products and found evidence there are potential adverse health effects from the consumption of these products. We are particularly concerned about pregnant or breast-feeding women and people on medication.
We don’t know enough to be sure about such a risk but I am pleased with the sensible and pragmatic approach the FSA is taking. The committee will continue to keep these products under review in the months ahead.
What Is CBD?
- CBD is a chemical found naturally within the cannabis plant, it has been extracted and marketed as a separate CBD product only very recently. CBD extracts can be used in a variety of products including fats, confectionery, baking products and drinks.
- In January 2019 CBD had been verified as a novel food product. Under the novel food regulations, before they can be put on the market, products or food ingredients that do not have a history of use before May 1997 should be tested and approved. Further information on innovative foods can be found on our website.
- The FSA announcement today surrounding CBD extracts occurs in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Food Standards Scotland covers innovative nutrition laws in Scotland.
- It is up to the FSA to control CBD as a novel substance. This does not include medicines, vapes, therapeutic claim-making products or products that contain controlled drugs such as THC. Where CBD derivatives do contain THC (or other regulated cannabinoids), they are likely to fall under the 1971 Misuse of Drugs Act, and further advice is required from the Home Office, which has issued a factsheet on hemp, CBD and other cannabinoids.
- Those who take medically prescribed CBD or THC will have no effects from this announcement.
The FSA is the Central Competent Authority (CCA) for food safety, but local authorities are responsible for enforcing food legislation on a daily basis. The FSA issues guidance to support consistency in approach, but ultimately it is up to local authorities to make specific enforcement decisions based on the facts and circumstances of the individual cases.
Committee On Toxicity
The Committee on Toxicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment (COT) is an independent scientific commission providing advice on chemicals toxicity issues to the FSA, the Department of Health and Health Care and other federal departments and agencies.
Food Standards Agency. (2020). Food Standards Agency sets deadline for the CBD industry and provides safety advice to consumers. [online] Available at: https://www.food.gov.uk/news-alerts/news/food-standards-agency-sets-deadline-for-the-cbd-industry-and-provides-safety-advice-to-consumers [Accessed 15 Feb. 2020].