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Bust or Boom? New FSA Ruling in Place for CBD
LONDON, UK / ACCESSWIRE / January 30, 2019 / CBD Oil is one of the fastest growing wellness supplements has now come under an EFSA (European Food Standard Agency) classification which could mean CBD Oil will no longer be legally sold within the UK.
Healthspan, the UK's leading health supplement supplier, who was one of the early adopters to launch CBD Oil capsules, says a change to the status of CBD Oil was published Friday (18th January) by EFSA which has raised some question marks over CBD's continued status as a legal food supplement in the UK.
CBD oil has seen a meteoric rise in sales with the Cannabis Trade Association UK saying the number of users has skyrocketed from 125,000 to 250,000 users.
Dr Sarah Brewer advises. "The new classification by EFSA is for regulatory/technicality reasons and not for safety reasons. Given that there is some uncertainty on the future free availability of CBD supplement, I'd recommend that people who find it beneficial for well-being continue as previously by ordering from a trusted supplier and continuing to take their CBD Oil."
So, what has changed?
The entry on the Novel Foods register changed regarding the classification of CBD Oil. The entry for "Cannabinoids" now states 'extracts of Cannabis sativa L. and derived products containing cannabinoids are considered novel foods as a history of consumption has not been demonstrated. This applies to both the extracts themselves and any products to which they are added as an ingredient (such as hemp seed oil)." This means that CBD supplements are now deemed to be novel food in Europe. (Search "cannabinoids" here: http://ec.europa.eu/food/safety/novel_food/catalogue/search/public/index.cfm)
What is Novel Food? (https://ec.europa.eu/food/safety/novel_food_en)
Novel Food is defined as food that had not been consumed to a significant degree by humans in the EU before 15 May 1997, when the first regulation on novel food came into force. Examples of Novel Food include new sources of vitamin K (menaquinone) or extracts from existing food (Antarctic Krill oil rich in phospholipids from Euphausia superba), agricultural products from third countries (chia seeds, noni fruit juice), or food derived from new production processes such as UV-treated food (milk, bread, mushrooms and yeast).
The underlying principles underpinning Novel Food in the European Union are that Novel Foods must be:
· Safe for consumers
· Properly labelled, so as not to mislead consumers
· If novel food is intended to replace another food, it must not differ in a way that the consumption of the Novel Food would be nutritionally disadvantageous for the consumer.
· Pre-market authorisation of Novel Foods on the basis of an evaluation in line with the above principles is necessary.
Why the change?
As there is no direct safety risk related to CBD Oil, opinion is that this is a political measure taken by the States* and it is an issue of having missed a 'processing step' as companies/industry was under the impression (based on earlier EFSA wording) that CBD would not class as a Novel food.
As of today, (29th January) there is no Food Standards Authority (FSA) official ruling but FSA wording implies that products will need to be withdraw from market very soon which means there will be no derogation period allowing the industry to apply for the Novel Food Approvals.
In the meantime, companies such as Healthspan and the industry of CBD growers, processors and sellers are gathering the data to do the Novel Food submission however this process can take time.
Rollo de Sausmarez, Healthspan's Director of New Product Marketing & Development says, "Next steps are getting CBD an Approved Novel Food Status. Many things have been deemed safe by passing a safety assessment under the Novel Food Regulation - e.g. Chia seeds, Krill Oil, Vitamin K. This process takes about a year, and CBD manufacturers and brands will be pursuing this approach. All over Europe the local food safety authorities will be considering their approach, in each member state and in time will publish their stance.
"Healthspan will continue to work with relevant bodies such as EFSA, FSA and the CTA (Cannabis Trade Association)."
In terms of how long this will take the FSA yesterday stated that they will begin working with local authorities to identify and begin to remove products that do not comply with the Novel Food Regulations (EU) 2015/2283. This may take a period of time and as yet there have been no formal instructions from the EFSA and the FSA.
Various trade organizations including the UK based Cannabis Trades Association (CTA), British Hemp Association (BHA), European Industrial Hemp Association (EIHA) as well as individual businesses will be talking to EFSA and the FSA about these new regulations.
· Suppliers will be working to get CBD an Approved Novel Food Status. Many things have been deemed safe by passing a safety assessment under the Novel Food Regulation - e.g. Chia seeds, Krill Oil, Vitamin K. This process takes about a year, and CBD manufacturers and brands will be pursuing this approach.
Can I still buy CBD in the UK?
The short answer is 'yes for now' but with the new FSA ruling it is recommended people do consider stocking up.
Dr Sarah Brewer summarises, "With all the change taking place there is still a great deal of misunderstanding and misleading information about CBD Oil on the market. Making sure you buy CBD Oil from a reputable supplier who is a member of the Cannabis Trade Association is important also looking out for products advertising whole plant extract percentage of CBD, as opposed to the level of CBD in mgs in the product."
Also, in June 2018, The World Health Organization carried out a review of CBD and findings
Stated that "CBD is generally well tolerated with a good safety profile. Reported adverse effects may be as a result of drug-drug interactions between CBD and patients' existing medications."
The WHO report did state that there is 'unsanctioned medical use of CBD based products', but the report did underline that CBD is well tolerated and has a good safety profile. "Across a number of controlled and open label trials CBD of the potential therapeutic effects of CBD it is generally well tolerated, with a good safety profile."(https://www.who.int/medicines/access/controlled-substances/CannabidiolCriticalReview.pdf)
For further information contact Mars Webb @ Mars Webb PR
Notes to Editors:
-Spokesperson Dr Sarah Brewer available via email only.
- *Each and every country has a legal right to have changes made to the Novel Food Register if they can get a majority to agree. The five initial petitioners were Germany, Italy, France, UK and The Netherlands. They managed to gain support from 17-member states.
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