The UK Food Standards Agency is today (1 April) calling on local authorities and industry to help bring the CBD market into compliance by prioritising the removal of products from sale that are not on the public list that the FSA published yesterday.
CBD products are considered ‘novel’ and therefore need to be assessed by the FSA for safety before being placed on the market. Currently, no CBD products have been authorised for sale in the UK. The CBD public list shows which products have a credible application for authorisation with the FSA.
Emily Miles, chief executive of the FSA, said: “The CBD market is growing rapidly. The FSA has been working to move the CBD industry into compliance. Today we have taken the next step in our pragmatic approach to making sure CBD products are safe and what they say they are.
“We have created the public list to help local authorities and retailers prioritise products to be removed from sale. If a product is not on the list, it should be removed from sale because it is not attached to a credible application to us for market authorisation.
“We have created the public list to help local authorities and retailers prioritise products to be removed from sale. If a product is not on the list, it should be removed from sale because”
“But being on the list means that the application is credible and the FSA has, or is shortly expecting to receive, significant scientific evidence from the applicant with which to judge safety.
‘I want to emphasise that the FSA is not endorsing products on the public list, and inclusion on the list is no guarantee that they will be authorised as they have not yet been fully assessed for safety. But we have taken the step of publishing the list so that local authorities, retailers and consumers can make informed judgments about what they stock and buy, as we gradually bring this growing market into compliance with the law.”
Local authorities which enforce the novel food legislation have been advised by the FSA to encourage food businesses whose products are not on the public list to voluntarily withdraw their products from the market and to consider more formal measures where this is not the case.
Validated applications will now move on to a full risk assessment. Those that are shown to be of a low enough risk must also go through a risk management process before a recommendation can be made to Ministers on authorisation.
UK CBD sector trade body, the Association for the Cannabinoid Industry (ACI), has welcomed publication of the new list. Steve Moore, ACI founder, commented: “The FSA public list represents a major milestone for the UK’s CBD category. It demonstrates the progress the sector has made to meet compliance requirements and creates greater regulatory certainty which, in turn, will increase levels of consumer trust, encourage investment in the sector, and promote innovation. ACI is immensely grateful for the work that our members and the FSA have put in to take this momentous step.”
ACI has played a high profile role in the CBD industry’s response to the application process from the outset. In September 2020, it created a scientific-based consortium of members to submit a ‘super-dossier’ on their behalf. This was lodged with the FSA in February 2021, and, the group says, “has been vital in helping members’ products be placed on the public list”. These products will, therefore, remain on the market as they progress towards validation and then authorisation. ACI has concluded the live phase of the OECD toxicology study required to validate dossiers. Data analysis is expected to be completed in June.
Moore added: “We are hugely proud that, through our consortium study, all members of the ACI have been included on the FSA’s public list, therefore earning the right to continue to be sold within the UK.”