EU countries flagged CBD 114 times in food-alert system since start of last year

Authorities across Europe have listed 114 products containing CBD in the European Union’s food-safety alert system since the start of last year, with data indicating that some countries are policing novel-food violations more frequently than others.

The listing of cannabidiol, THC and hemp-derived products in the EU’s Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) was discussed by Jacek Kramarz of HemPoland during the European Industrial Hemp Association conference on Wednesday. Hemp Industry Daily reviewed the RASFF database for entries that included cannabidiol or CBD between January 1, 2019 and June 17.

The CBD products flagged in the food-alert system were most often cited for containing an “unauthorized novel food ingredient.” Other entries listed CBD as an “unauthorised feed additive” or flagged CBD products that contained THC.

The EU Novel Foods catalogue was updated in January 2019 to include hemp-derived cannabinoids, including CBD. The designation means that manufacturers need to have their CBD supplements and edible products evaluated and seek permission from EU authorities to place them on the market.

Authorities in Germany, Sweden and Spain were the top whistleblowers for CBD novel food violations. Germany and Ireland had the most entries for THC notifications.

The RASFF is a tool for national authorities to quickly exchange information on health risks related to food and animal feed in the EU common market.

A RASFF member that identifies a health hazard in a product can use the system to flag that product for the rest of the network and describe what if any measures are being taken to address the risk. Possible actions against a flagged product are withholding, recalling, seizing or rejecting it. The RASFF network allows members to check in real time whether they are also affected and if urgent action is needed.

The members of the RASFF include:

  • All 27 EU member states.
  • Norway.
  • Liechtenstein.
  • Iceland.
  • The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).
  • The European Commission, which manages the system.
  • Switzerland as a partial member.