Hemp advocates say recent FDA communique makes need for legislation even more pressing

On Tuesday the US Food and Drug Administration published a list of guidance documents it expects to publish within the next year​.  The list included a number of FSMA rules and food safety questions and two entries that bear directly on the dietary supplement industry:  a commitment to publish at least a portion of a revised New Dietary Ingredient guidance and a guidance on the convening of self affirmation GRAS panels.

Notably absent was a commitment to publish anything about the hemp/CBD question.  FDA had given itself a deadline of July 2022 to publish the documents.  Given the time that has passed since the hemp/CBD market began to explode in late 2018 the omission was met with disappointment by industry stakeholders.

“FDA has not devoted very much attention to this issue since the last Farm Bill in 2018,” said Jonathan Miller, chief counsel for the US Hemp Roundtable and an attorney in the firm Frost Brown Todd.

“It makes it that much more clear that we need to pass legislation,” ​Miller told NutraIngredients-USA. “If we wait on the FDA we will be waiting a long time.”

High profile meeting in 2019

FDA convened a public meeting on the issue in May 2019.  The early comment returns from that meeting laid bare the regulatory complexity of the issue​. FDA had focused on the safety questions surrounding the ingredient.  While the Agency promised a communication on the subject ‘soon’ at that time, teh issue hung fire until the advent of the global pandemic pushed many items to teh back burner.

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