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U.K. Regulators Launch Crackdown On CBD And Issue Health Warning

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Written by Peter McCusker
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U.K. Regulators have warned the country’s CBD industry to comply with Novel Food rules or face having their products taken off their shelves.

The Food Standards Agency has also issued a health warning to mums-to- be and those taking medication not to use CBD. In a press release today the FSA has given the industry a little over a year to comply with its new novel food guidelines. 

The press release reads as follows: “The FSA has set a deadline for CBD businesses to provide more information about CBD products and their contents. It also advises vulnerable groups not to take CBD, and healthy adults to take no more than 70mg a day.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) is giving the CBD industry a deadline of 31 March 2021 to submit valid novel food authorisation applications. After 31 March next year, only products which have submitted a valid application will be allowed to remain on the market. The authorisation process ensures novel foods meet legal standards, including on safety and content.

Local authorities enforce the novel food legislation. They have been advised that businesses should be able to sell their existing CBD products during this time 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. Healthy adults are also advised to think carefully before taking CBD, and the FSA recommends no more than 70mg a day (about 28 drops of 5% CBD) unless under medical direction. This new precautionary advice is based on recent findings by the government’s Committee on Toxicity (COT).

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. 

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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.”

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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.

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