- The Washington Times - Friday, February 21, 2020

CBD products in the United Kingdom could be removed from shelves next year unless manufacturers apply for approval to keep their products on the market.

The Food Standards Agency is giving the CBD industry until March 31, 2021, to submit valid novel food authorization applications. After that date, only approved products will be allowed to stay on the market.

“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,” the FSA said in a statement posted on its website.

The food safety organization, which works across England, Wales and Northern Ireland, is also warning those who are pregnant, breastfeeding or taking medications to not use CBD.

It is also advising healthy adults to think carefully before taking CBD and to not consume more than 70 mg a day (about 28 drops of 5% CBD) unless medically instructed to do so.

“CBD products are widely available on the high street but are not properly authorized,” said Emily Miles, FSA chief executive. “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.”

Alan Boobis, chair of the government’s Committee on Toxicity, said the committee has found evidence of potential adverse health effects from consuming CBD products.

A preliminary background report published by the COT this month found that the most common adverse reactions to CBD in humans included vomiting, fatigue, diarrhea, decrease appetite, drowsiness and fever.

Studies in animals showed CBD caused liver injury and reproductive toxicity.

“We are particularly concerned about pregnant or breast-feeding women and people on medication,” Mr. Boobis said. “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.”

CBD, a chemical naturally found in the cannabis plant, has very recently been extracted and sold in a wide range of products including oils, bread and other bakery goods, sweets and candy and drinks.

The chemical was classified as a “novel food product” in January 2019. Foods or food ingredients that do not have a history of consumption before May 1997 have to be evaluated and authorized before hitting the market.

The announcement by the FSA does not cover novel food regulations in Scotland, which are overseen by Food Standards Scotland.

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