CBD products are widely available on the European market but are not properly authorized as CBD is considered a novel food. Any novel food requires an authorization by the European Commission, which is preceded by a thorough safety evaluation by EFSA. Currently, three CBD applications have been submitted to the EU Commission. Apparently, EFSA did not yet initiate the formal evaluation procedure (status February 2020).
In February, the Irish food safety authority (FSA) has issued a recall for various CBD foods and food supplements which contained unsafe levels of delta‐9‐tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) based on EFSA’s acute reference dose. For the full list of the recall batches, please click here.
Food businesses, including online retailers, currently selling the implicated batches of these CBD products must immediately remove them from the market. Moreover, consumers should not purchase or consume any of the implicated batches.
In Germany, a higher court ruled that CBD is considered novel food following an appeal against the decision of the Düsseldorf Administrative Court of September 27, 2019.
This decision is now final and confirms the decision made by the previous court.
Meanwhile in the UK, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) has set the deadline of 31 March 2021 for CBD food business operators to provide more information about their products (safety and content). After that date, only products that have submitted valid novel food authorization applications will be allowed to remain on the market.
In addition, the agency advises vulnerable groups (pregnant, breastfeeding or people taking any medication) not to consume CBD products. For healthy adults, FSA recommends no more than 70 mg a day (about 28 drops of 5 % CBD) unless under medical direction.
As a response, the Cannabis Trades Association (CTA) states that although they do not agree in full with all that is being proposed, CTA believe it is a positive step towards ensuring consumer safety and that CBD will be on the shelves for many years to come.
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