The European Industrial Hemp Association (EIHA) is submitting novel food applications to the UK Food Standards Agency (FSA). This step is also planned shortly with the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). These review processes are taking place in parallel with the planned EIHA study to re-evaluate the potential toxicity of THC. The Novel Food Consortium, organised by the EIHA, aims to get as many safety assessments of CBD products underway as possible to secure their position on the EU market.
Times are changing very fast in the European cannabis market at the moment. Not so long ago, a discussion was raging about whether hemp products should be classified as novel foods at all. Shortly thereafter, the debate turned to declaring CBD a narcotic in general. Following a landmark ruling by the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg, applications to classify it as a novel food are now being accepted again. An offer that the EIHA Novel Food Consortium is making use of on a large scale both in the EU and in the UK. The aim is to create the broadest possible evidence and legal certainty for cannabidiol products.
Applications for full spectrum and CBD isolate submitted to London
The British FSA received applications for CBD isolates and full-spectrum products on time. These are to be submitted to the EU regulatory authority EFSA shortly. The aim is to create a legally watertight classification as novel foods that can be sold on European markets.
“Hemp operators want to comply with the market rules and are ready to contribute and take the necessary steps to meet the requirements. This sector needs a unified, professional and safe market for hemp products, and we are on the right track,” says Lorenza Romanese, Executive Director of EIHA.
Study plus Novel Food applications: The EIHA’s two-pronged approach
It has just been announced that the EIHA will conduct a study to investigate the possible toxicity of THC with the aim of finally being able to set a scientifically sound limit for CBD products. In addition, the strategy is to submit many new CBD products for official testing in order to create as broad a data basis as possible and to collect well-founded evidence that the preparations are safe and thus suitable for the market. Currently, the EIHA Novel Food Consortium is supported by 183 partners and more are joining every day; there have been 50 since Christmas alone.
Doing everything possible for active and effective cooperation with the authorities
Lorenza Romanese is sure it is worth the effort:
“The last months have been hectic and challenging, but I can assure you that every single minute spent on this project has definitely been worth it.”
Finally, after decades of sometimes very emotional discussions, the hemp sector needs a uniform, professional and safe market for its products. In addition to the scientific validation of all products, the focus is also on active and effective cooperation with the authorities. Here, too, one can hope for a great deal of commitment. “We are here to do our best,” says the EIHA Executive Director.
EIHA press release from 19.02.2021