24 Juli 2020

Pioneering scientific studies commissioned by EIHA: the sector comes together to respond to one common challenge

Over the next two to three years, around 3.5 million euros are to be invested in unprecedented studies on CBD and THC

The European Industrial Hemp Association (EIHA) is launching a large-scale project, conducted by ChemSafe, to finally establish legal and planning security for the European hemp industry and market. Over the next two to three years, around 3.5 million euros are to be invested in unprecedented studies on CBD and THC. The aim is to submit to the EU cross-company applications for approval of four so-called “novel foods“ with CBD ingredients.

The EIHA “Novel Food Consortium” aims to finally regulate the CBD market in Europe for the industry and the consumers. The background is the EU Regulation on Novel Foods. According to this regulation, “Novel Food” is “any food that was not used for human consumption to a significant degree within the Union before 15 May 1997″. If a food is considered novel, it must be authorised by the EU Commission and undergo a pre-market safety assessment by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), before it can be legally marketed in the EU. This is an expensive and time-consuming process that would harm most hemp producers.

The position conveyed by EIHA has always been consistent and aligned to the following: Hemp leaves and flowers as well as such hemp extracts from industrial hemp, with the natural content of cannabinoids, (i.e. those that are not enriched with isolated CBD) are traditional foods and do not fall under the scope of the Novel Food Regulation.

However, because Member States act differently and not in line with their former decision taken in 1997, the situation needs to be solved by the European hemp industry to maintain the trade of CBD-related products.

Because of this, there is an urgent need to secure enriched and isolate cannabinoids and thus, the trade of CBD-related products, which can only be achieved by obtaining the approval as Novel Food. EIHA intends to secure a fair market for its members who farm, process and trade with CBD related products – a constant, reliable and EU wide regulated common market status. In order to ensure that its members will be covered across the whole European market, EIHA will submit two NF applications: one to the UK Food Safety Authority (FSA) for the British market, and the other to EFSA for the EU market.

“We only stand a chance if we jointly bear the exorbitant costs for the necessary toxicological studies and the long procedure ahead of us,” states Daniel Kruse, EIHA President. “This would not be affordable for a single hemp company.”

Due to the costs of up to 500,000 euros per product and the long approval procedure for novel foods, the EIHA Novel Food Consortium will act as a representative of the European hemp industry. The Consortium plans to submit various applications for the approval of novel food ingredients and foods, from which all members of EIHA will then benefit equally.

On Monday 15 June, EIHA announced the details of the Novel Food Consortium during its General Meeting. The afternoon session, moderated by EIHA President, Daniel Kruse, and EIHA Managing Director, Lorenza Romanese, was dedicated to informing members and all interested companies and media representatives about the EIHA Novel Food Consortium by means of a transparent and lively debate. After presenting all the details of the NF application and opening the floor for Q&A, EIHA members voted on the resolution on the admission of new members and on the resolution on the principles of the special contribution structure for the NF Joint Application. The resolutions passed with an overwhelming majority of votes in favour and, therefore, EIHA is glad to announce that the Novel Food Consortium project is officially launched.

“We will accompany all EU companies that wish to join the consortium “EIHA GmbH projects” and believe in our solution, trust our competences and rely on the professionality of the team behind this project.” Says Ms Lorenza Romanese, EIHA Managing Director. “By covering all the possible range of tox studies for both molecules, CBD and THC, this project represents the most comprehensive response that we can give to authorities. It is science-based, and it is the only way in which we can inverse the unfair status quo. We cannot guarantee the success of the application, but what we can ensure is that we will put all of our efforts into this project that will change history.


Please visit our website to read all you need to know about the Novel Food Consortium!


About the European Industrial Hemp Association

The European Industrial Hemp Association – in short EIHA – is the European association of the hemp processing industry with about 130 members in more than 30 countries. The EIHA, based in Brussels (Belgium), represents the interests of industrial hemp producers and traders on a pan-European and national level. The industrial hemp sector includes the cultivation and processing of hemp fibres and seeds as well as cannabinoids.

The International Conference of the European Industrial Hemp Association, which has been held annually in Cologne since 2003, is one of the largest conferences on commercial hemp worldwide.

Source: EIHA, press release, 2020-06-16.


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