European hemp & CBD stakeholders came away upbeat after boardroom dialogue with the European Commission officials this week for language in rules affecting CBD.
“We launched a good dialogue for sound negotiations with the Commission and Member States today,” Lorenza Romanese, Managing Director of the European Industrial Hemp Association (EIHA) told HempToday after a meeting with a working group of the EC’s Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed (PAFF).
“We have something to work on together.”
The EU defines novel food as food that was not consumed by citizens of the EU prior to 1997. This would include newly developed, innovative food, food produced using new technologies and production processes. CBD in edibles, hemp seed and hemp seed oil are a ‘novel’ food under EU law. Novel foods undergo a much more strict compliance regime than other foods.
Current regulations require food to be properly labelled amongst other stringent requirements. Food has to go through a series of costly authorization requirements before meeting government standards. Romanese MD of the European Hemp Association warned the committee that this situation threatens to disrupt the entire, fast-growing – hemp food business through EU member states. He called for a reconsideration so as not to impede EU burgeoning enterprises.
The issue with CBD is that it is a new phenomenon in the food sector and a clear history of consumption has not been demonstrated. Not anymore! During the 12th March session, 23 companies from across the Europe reported a total of 255 tons of hemp-based foods produced before 1997 as evidence. These products contained CBD. Brussels listened.
Historical data suggested the Pope loved hemp soup. EIHA could cite recipes and examples from all over Europe and one from the Vatican itself. A recipe surfaced from the archives from a Vatican chef during the papacy of Pope Martin V in the early 15th century. The committee are addressing this and EIHA board member Daniel Kruse said:
“They were very impressed by the evidence we brought to them and are reconsidering the matter.”
The outcome is very, very positive. It is clear there is nothing novel about hemp and CBD. The crowdsourcing of fact-based evidence galvanised them into action.
Romanese said EIHA will push the pace of decision-making by following up with the commission in the next few weeks. A rule reversal could be on the cards. CBD Village UK will keep you abreast of all developments.