FSA’s new guidance on CBD intakes has ‘huge implications’ for manufacturers, HFMA warns 

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The Health Food Manufacturers Association says that new advice from the Food Standards Agency (FSA) that consumers should limit their daily intake of CBD from foods to 10mg (down from the previous guidance of 70mg) has “huge implications” for manufacturers. 

Moving goalposts 
Responding to the FSA announcement, HFMA chair Steve Mann said: “Our members yet again find themselves managing moving goalposts on CBD, all of which have huge implications for manufacture and retailing of CBD products in the UK. Our role now, is to assess the impact of this new FSA development on CBD and navigate our way through the practical and financial difficulties that it creates.”

The HFMA says it is now “assessing all elements of this new recommendation”. Its scientific adviser Dr Michele Sadler explained: “The collective, toxicological data submitted in support of CBD novel food applications is enabling a new overall assessment of the safety of the CBD category of 98% purity CBDs and this has resulted in the change to the FSAs consumer advice. It is right that we thoroughly understand and carefully assess the scientific justification for the big drop in the recommended maximum daily intake from 70mg down to 10mg.” 

The HFMA says any reference on safe intakes to consumers “must be given with absolute clarity”. But is concerned that the new announcement by the FSA carries messaging that “appears confusing to consumers”.

The trade group says the FSA’s new advice “could drive consumers towards products that stick to a 10mg daily intake”. 

Professor Paul Berryman, technical advisor to the HFMA said: “It will be interesting to see if this much reduced Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI) of CBD will affect the many Novel Food applications that have been validated but not yet authorised by the Food Standards Agency. It’s clear that the HFMA has a strong part to play in helping to bring clarity to their membership about how, exactly, this FSA announcement, affects their recommendations and sales of CBD”. 

Significant impact 
The HFMA says the announcement from the FSA will have a “significant impact on the CBD market” as a whole. Whilst recognising the scientific assessment by the FSA, the HFMA is now focussing on the challenges this brings to many areas of business, with the prospect of reformulation, update of labels, new communications to consumers, and obvious financial losses. 

HFMA Director General, Martin Last stated: “We will continue engagement at all levels with members, our experts, and the FSA, to work through these issues and to seek workable implementation measures for our industry”. 

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