Deadline set for CBD industry by Food Standards Agency
Despite the growing popularity of CBD, some products might disappear from UK shelves next year, as the Food Standards Agency sets deadline for valid novel food applications.
The CBD industry must submit valid novel food applications by March 31, 2021 if they wish for their product to remain on the market.
CBD was confirmed as a novel food product in Europe in January 2019. Under the novel food regulations, foods or food ingredients which do not have a history of consumption before May 1997 should be evaluated and authorised before they can be placed on the market.
This 2021 deadline has been set by the Food Standards Agency (FSA), which has stated that the authorisation process will ensure novel foods meet legal standards, including on safety and content. The announcement applies in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Novel food regulations in Scotland are covered by Food Standards Scotland.
“CBD products are widely available on the high street but are not properly authorised,” Emily Miles, Chief Executive of the FSA said. “The CBD industry must provide more information about the safety and contents of these products to the regulator before March 31, 2021, or the products will be taken off the shelves.”
Businesses should be able to sell their existing CBD products during this time, provided they are not incorrectly labelled, are not unsafe to eat and do not contain substances that fall under drugs legislation.
“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,” said Miles.
The FSA has also issued precautionary advice to consumers, which is based on recent findings by the government’s Committee on Toxicity (COT). Firstly, it has recommended that vulnerable groups, eg those who are pregnant, breastfeeding or taking any medication, do not to consume CBD products. Secondly, it has advised that healthy adults think carefully before taking CBD, recommending that no more than 70mg are consumed per day.
“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,” Professor Alan Boobis, Chair of the COT said. “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.”