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Germany is reviewing the need to classify all products containing drug-free cannabinoids as the “new food” category

04.03.2020

The federal government and the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture share the view of the public, arguing that products containing parts of hemp plants should not normally be classified as “new foods” based on EU Regulation 2015/2283. In addition, hemp products made from natural “full-spectrum oils” should not be classified as “new products” and do not require special approval in order to be freely sold on the market. Evaluation criteria for “new foods” should relate to cannabinoid isolates or extracts. 

The pages of the profile electronic publication of Ukrainian horse breeders have repeatedly raised the question of using the EU Directive regulating the concept of “new food products” for crowding out food products, cosmetics or biologically active / feed additives containing drug-free cannabinoids from the market of economically developed countries of Europe. Illustrative examples of this kind of events are the regulations of the relevant state authorities in Finland , Luxembourg , Ireland ,  Austria , criminal cases in Germany  or activity in the direction of the relevant changes in the legislation of horse breeders in France  or the Netherlands. As in the United Kingdom, public organizations and relevant associations are trying to resist the crowding out of cannabinoid products from the market, it was pointed out in the article “The UK Regulates the Food Market Containing Cannabinoids ”. This material describes the experience of our German colleagues, who limited the ability of government officials to categorize extracts or synthetic cannabinoids as “new food”, but not as “green plant mass” or hemp “full-spectrum oil”.

In the countries of the European Union, and first of all in Germany, there is an acute discussion regarding the status of the drug-free components of hemp, which have significant therapeutic properties, primarily cannabinoids. The German Federal Office for Consumer Protection and Food Safety (Bundesamt für Verbraucherschutz und Lebensmittelsicherheit, BVL) of Germany tried to give all CBD products the status of "new food", however, public organizations that advocated for the protection of manufacturers and trade unions were able to convince government officials to be absurd this kind of position. 

BVL slows down the industry specializing in the production of CBD products, classifying all products with non-drug cannabinoids as “new food products”

Following the success of products containing drug-free cannabinoids as dietary supplements, food products and skin care products, the fast-growing industry of products with significant therapeutic properties manufactured from industrial hemp in Germany ran into a serious obstacle in the face of BVL, whose officials insisted on the need to go through lengthy and costly procedures for approving the appearance of these products on the market, in connection with their classification as “new products pi Tanya. " In other EU countries, there are a number of other public initiatives aimed at preventing the application of the EU Directive regarding the concept of “new food products”, up to filing lawsuits with the relevant courts. According to the data provided by opponents of the sweeping application of the concept of “new food”, hemp products are not something new for Europeans, especially in the food sector. The history of the use of cannabis leaves and inflorescences as a tasty and healthy food product in Europe has centuries-old traditions, therefore, the comprehensive classification of hemp products containing therapeutic elements of the plant as the “new food products” category is absolutely incorrect and one that can be classified as inhibitory development is extremely promising a business sector that makes this sector of modern hemp breeding uncompetitive to American or Asian tskimi companies.

On March 20, 2019, the BVL officially announced its position on cannabidiol-containing food supplements, in which products containing them were officially classified as “new foods,” requiring approval for launch on the market, or as a drug requiring an expensive special registration procedure. According to relevant public organizations, the actual and legal assessment of the BVL is incorrect and inaccurate. According to industry experts, which was supported by dozens of examples and documents, the drug-free cannabinoids present as non-psychoactive components in industrial hemp have been used as a food or cosmetic product for thousands of years both in Europe and in the world as a whole. Accordingly, not all products containing drug-free cannabinoids should be classified as “new foods” to which they belong to officials of the Federal Office for the Protection of Consumer Rights and Food Safety.

The German government shares the public opinion on the appropriateness of using drug-free cannabinoids in food 

The federal government and the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture share the view of the public, arguing that products containing parts of hemp plants should not normally be classified as “new foods” based on EU Regulation 2015/2283. In addition, hemp products made from natural “full-spectrum oils” should not be classified as “new products” and do not require special approval in order to be freely sold on the market. Evaluation criteria for “new foods” should relate to cannabinoid isolates or extracts. After the German government and the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture voiced their position on this issue, officials of the Federal Office for the Protection of Consumer Rights and Food Safety are most likely to be forced to reconsider their position on this issue and publish it in the media.

Commentary by the Ukrainian Technical Hemp Association

The basis of the German hemp public’s reaction and heated discussion was the publication of BVL on the website of the Federal Office for Consumer Protection and Food Safety on the topic “Dietary Supplements with Cannabidiol (CBD)” published on March 20, 2019. In particular, the material states that “BVL is currently not aware of any legal precedent according to which cannabidiol (CBD) can be legally sold as part of food products, including as food additives.” From the point of view of BVL experts, “companies launching products with drug-free cannabinoids on the market must demonstrate product safety before placing goods on the market. To do this, they must fill out either an application for approval of this product as a medicine or an application for approval as a “new food product”, which must be submitted for any products containing non-drug cannabinoids. "

In the statement made, the BVL does not pay attention to the following facts:

- Cannabidiol (CBD) is a natural substance certified in the EU, which along with

other cannabinoids are regularly found in the leaves and inflorescences of cultivated technical hemp permitted for cultivation;

- industrial cultivations of industrial hemp allowed for cultivation include not only seeds, but also leaves and inflorescences, which, according to the federal government, belong to the “food” category. Those. these constituents of technical hemp refer to Section 2 (2) of the LFGB (Food and Feed Code) and are related to Article 2 of the EU Directive 178/2002, therefore, in no way belong to the category of medicines and do not require any separate permits for legal presence in the market.

Hemp "full spectrum oil" is usually made from hemp flowers, leaves and inflorescences. If the above parts of the plants were cold pressed, the resulting “juice” contains the entire spectrum of cannabinoids, flavonoids, chlorophyll, waxes, terpenes, terpenoids, etc. “Full-spectrum oils” demonstrate maximum interaction between many molecules in the whole plant, i.e. in the process of mechanical action on the "green mass" of the plant, the natural connections between the individual components with significant therapeutic properties are minimally disturbed. Thus, “full-spectrum oils” are ideally suited for holistic treatment approaches that affect the whole body with the strength of the whole plant - the so-called “ensemble effect” works.

How the EU pharmacological lobby is trying to “clean up” the drug-free cannabinoid market for itself was explained at the round tables “ Nutrition and hemp ”, “ Cannabinoid therapy ”, “ Use of cannabinoids in the treatment of severe / chronic diseases ” held as part of the “ Hemp University ”. In more detail, the current situation in the field of the use of drug-free cannabinoids in the EU, the world and Ukraine will be considered in the framework of the round table held for students of the Hemp University , from April 7 to 9, 2020 .

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