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FSAI

20 Feb 2020

Irish stakeholders push back to the FSAI/HSE report published in FEB 2020. HERE.  The Hemp Federation (HFI) was not happy with the report and they stated

  1. “the vigorous implementation of extreme enforcement measures against responsible industry stakeholders,” calling the survey
  2. “reckless and damaging in the extreme.” They have also –
  3. Strongly condemned FSAI for ignoring previous industry calls that the government set reasonable CBD rules.
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FSAI and Irish Stakeholders Push Back

What Did They Say

Let’s look at what they said and what happened. I think that carrying out a survey nationwide was the correct thing to do as they found many suppliers that were not registered. I know there are still many more that slipped through the net and are trading away on social platforms. The HFI is saying that the FSAI is ignoring previous calls to have reasonable rules. This is the case but they cannot when the FSAI catch suppliers not following the very basic rules which are registering yourself and making sure CBD is in what you supply.

Its a big no in my opinion and everyone should be registered with the FSAI.  If you are not then you should not be supplying the public with CBD and or other supplements. Having said that, the FSAI is refusing to allow suppliers to register in the first place. This is due to their stance on the scam that is the Novel Food Act. CBD and Cannabis are clearly not Novel Foods and thus this stance by the FSAI is very outdated and unreasonable.

Withdraw The Report

The HFI I asked for the report to be withdrawn and why should the FSAI do this? I do not agree with it all the report but asking suppliers to register, make sure what they are selling actually has CBD and they are labelled correctly would be very basic asks. In some ways, going in hard and treating people softly is the very approach I would have taken here. All of these issues are compounded further by the fact that the HSE is helping the FSAI in its duties. You have two departments with different agendas trying to manage the CBD industry. For the most part, the CBD industry was doing a dam good job of managing itself.  We all know the HSE has its own issues.

Whether anyone wants to admit it both sides of this debate need to start seeing the other side of the fence. I would be happy to argue that the FSAI would need to be a bit more open on the issue of the laws and legislation. They should be looking to the HFI and respected suppliers to come up with guidelines to keep this space in check. It makes no sense for a soccer referee to watch over a rugby game. The rules are very different and the CBD industry is extremely new and the people who are in it often know way more than the lawmakers.

THC

This along Cannabinoid and the Novel Food Act scam are two issues that are not going away anytime soon. In my opinion, I think the agencies to corner CBD into having n traces of CBD at all. Making the FSAI watch over this space and HPRA taking over the THC part of the space via medical cannabis. That is my theory but either way, THC is illegal in CBD.

Stating EU law of 0.2% THC or this is the first time that the FSAI has said that “one microgram per kilogram of body weight (1ug/kg)” ( it is the first time hey said it here) means nothing in the scheme of things as it was stated in May of 2019 that the stance was ZERO TOLERANCE to any level of THC in CBD. Everyone knew this going forward. It is a ridiculous stance and needs to be addressed to reflect the view of the EU and WHO. If the FSAI wanted to be insane they would enforce the Novel Food Act now and the CO2 extraction law to an extreme. As of now, they don’t. There need to be reasonable rules on both sides of the argument here.

WHO

I have stated this argument many times. The World Health Organisation stated that CBD is safe and is tolerated by humans and other mammals very well. Cannabis and CBD are viewed as being very beneficial for humans. The FSAI cannot ignore this nor should they ignore the world view of 0.2% to 0.3% THC in CBD as being the norm. The FSAI is understaffed to deal with this issue and many counties in Ireland have different enforcement capabilities and knowledge about CBD.

WHO and the UN is looking at the THC issue now (MARCH 2020) in the view of making THC less controversial. Indeed with the view on Cannabis changing to a more positive one, it is time the FSAI started looking towards the future. They should work with the industry and understand that Cannabis and CBD industry is not going away.  This industry is here to stay and should be developed for the benefit of the Irish people. There is a massive opportunity for the Irish economy here. The industry should not be under threat on a daily basis.

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FSAI and Irish Stakeholders Push Back

Some FSAI Findings

If you look at this in a small bit f context you cant argue that something is amiss with some suppliers. Some of the products contained only traces of CBD declared and many more did not have what was stated. People are paying big money for these products and they should get what they pay for. Having said this, the FSAI did not pull Celtic Wind Crops from the shelves and they were caught having ZERO CBD in some other their products on more than one occasion.

Conclusion

For the most part, I agree with many of the HFIs statements however there needs to be some realism.  The FSAI and customs tested my products several times in 2019 and I get why. Having said that, the FSAI should listen to the industry. Many of us are extremely responsible and only want to provide value to the sector. The regulations need to be reasonable and the industry should be consulted. The FSAI has not got the manpower to control the space effectively.  We should look to the British as an example of what to do in this industry.

The Irish industry needs to pull together more. I have witnessed too often how everyone seems to be out for themselves and many are not willing to work together for the good of the industry. Each and every supplier also has the responsibility to register with the FSAI and make sure their products are safe for human consumption.

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