Give us back our hemp!

Brussels, 17 April 2019 – The recent change in the Novel Food Catalogue, which is not a binding document, brought many negative consequences on the EU industrial hemp sector. Even if hemp extracts are not formally and legally forbidden by Europe, disproportionate and senseless measures have been taken against food products containing CBD in many European countries. In reaction to incorrect and misleading information in the media, EIHA prepared a Press Note to provide a clear and factual overview of the current legislative framework of hemp extracts in Europe.

Background – Without industry consultation, the wording of the Novel Food catalogue was changed in January 2019. As a result, and according to the Novel Food Catalogue today:

  • only seed derived products are considered food,
  • leaves and flowers are now considered not explicitly exempted from the scope of Novel Food (Regulation (EU) 2015/2283) which has moved them from previously foods into a ‘grey zone’,
  • a new entry, called Cannabinoids, was created which now states that all hemp extracts are novel food.

This unnecessary, illogical and illicit change of the former Novel Food entry is unacceptable for EIHA
members and the entire European hemp industry. Back in 1998, the hemp industry received written
confirmation from the EU (PAFF Standing Committee) that hemp flowers/leaves are permitted for food
use, because hemp has been in the human food chain for millennia and it is disingenuous to argue that
leaves and flowers in food are novel today. Based on this decision, FBOs made investments in the hemp
sector that should be paid-back today instead of being hindered by governments and decision-makers
across Europe. Why is a food that was confirmed lawful 20 years ago, suddenly no longer legal today?


More in the pdf