Food Standards Agency provides safety advice to CBD consumers and sets industry deadline

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) is giving the CBD industry a deadline of 31 March 2021 to submit valid novel food authorisation applications. After the deadline, only products with a valid application will be allowed to stay on the market. The authorisation process will ensure that food products comply to legal content and safety standards.

Local authorities who enforce the novel food legislation have been advised that businesses should be able to sell their existing CBD products during this time, provided they are not incorrectly labelled, not unsafe to eat and do not contain substances that fall under drugs legislation.

In addition to this, the FSA has announced new precautionary advice based on recent findings by the government’s Committee on Toxicity (COT). The FSA advises 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. The FSA recommends no more than 70mg a day (about 28 drops of 5% CBD) unless under medical direction.

Emily Miles, chief executive of the FSA, commented: “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.”

COT’s chair, Professor Alan Boobis, 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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