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Trade Groups Fire Warnings To FDA Over Its ‘Alarming’ CBD Edict

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Written by Peter McCusker

Leading American trade groups have joined forces to press Congress for speedy recognition of the safety of CBD products.

And one of the four – the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) – has rebuked the U.S .Food and Drug Administration for its tardy approach to regulation following its warnings on the safety of CBD, this week.

In what it described as a ‘Consumer Update’ the FDA said it was concerned that people who believe ‘CBD can’t hurt’ are ‘mistaken’ and that it has concerns over the ‘real risk’ of CBD use. Its announcement comes almost six months after a round of Public Hearings in to the safety of CBD, and, as calls for regulatory clarity in the industry grow.

Congress Should Intervene

Fox News reports Steve Mister, the president and CEO of the CRN, saying in a response to the FDA’s ‘update’ that its ‘continued failure to take this action, while raising consumer alarm over the entire market, requires that Congress get involved to direct the regulator to open the supplement lane to CBD and to police these products’.

In a letter to Congress last month the CRN, the  American Herbal Products Association (AHPA), Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA), and United Natural Products Alliance (UNPA) also press Congress to intervene. It called on Senators ‘to pass legislation to clarify that CBD derived from the hemp plant is a lawful dietary ingredient if the dietary supplement containing the CBD meets established product safety and quality criteria’. 

The FDA has repeatedly said CBD cannot be lawfully used in food or dietary supplements, but his has not stopped the growth of the industry following the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill, which de-listed hemp as a controlled drug.

Insufficient Data

Several states have passed legislation allowing the use of CBD in foods and supplements, but others say its use is illegal. The FDA says a lack of sufficient data hampers its ability to regulate the CBD market, saying it may take five years to gather the data it needs to establish a competent regulatory pathway.

The blog reports on a letter to the FDA from a bipartisan group of members of Congress which expressed their concern about this timeline. It suggests the FDA announce a policy of ‘enforcement discretion and consider the path of an interim final rule to establish a clear regulatory framework for CBD as a dietary supplement and food additive’.

It also reports that the CHPA had submitted a citizen petition requesting swift action from FDA regarding CBD. These included calls for the FDA to recognize that hemp-derived CBD is lawful, and increase enforcement action against ‘unscrupulous manufacturers of CBD products making illegal drug claims; hence the newest wave of warnings, or consumer update.

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About the author

Peter McCusker

Peter McCusker is an experienced news and business editor, who believes it’s time to fully embrace the multiple, proven, medical benefits of the cannabis plant.