The UK’s Food Standards Agency has set a deadline of 31 March 2021 for CBD businesses to show their products comply with EU novel foods rules.
In new guidance on the CBD category, the agency says that only products which have submitted a valid novel food application will be allowed to remain on the market.
The classification of CBD earlier this as Novel Food has been roundly criticised by large parts of the natural products industry in the UK, with one CBD trade group previously declaring that it would defy FSA efforts to enforce compliance with Novel Food rules.
The agency says that enforcement of novels food rules will be carried out at a local authority level Local authorities been advised that businesses should be able to sell their existing CBD products until the deadline provided they are “not incorrectly labelled, are not unsafe to eat and do not contain substances that fall under drugs legislation”.
In addition, the FSA is today advising those who are pregnant, breastfeeding or taking any medication not to consume CBD products. It is also advising healthy adults to “think carefully before taking CBD”, and the agency recommends no more than 70mg a day (about 28 drops of 5% CBD) unless under medical direction. It says this new precautionary advice is based on recent findings by the government’s Committee on Toxicity (COT).
“The CBD industry must provide more information about the safety and contents of these products”
Emily Miles, chief executive of the Food Standards Agency, 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.”
Professor Alan Boobis, chair of the Committee on Toxicity, 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.’