WASHINGTON – State regulators this week sounded off on the Food and Drug Administration for its inaction on CBD products during a webinar hosted by the Natural Products Association (NPA).
Representatives from the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumers Services (VDACS) highlighted the lack of leadership from the FDA, noting it was the FDA’s inaction that led Virginia to take action on CBD products. Lisa Ramsey, VDACS Office of Dairy and Foods, Food Safety Program said “in Virginia, we felt like without FDA taking the lead we needed to do something to help ensure products being created in Virginia are created safe and presented honestly to the consumers of Virginia and beyond Virginia.”
Her colleague, Erin Williams from VDACS’s Office of Policy, Planning, and Research, Industrial Hemp Program, elaborated further stating, “our Governor issued a policy directive to the Agency (VDACS) while we were waiting on FDA action on cannabis-derived products or related state legislation. The VADC was directed to treat hemp-derived extracts intended for human consumption as approved food additives.”
Virginia was not the only state-based panelist to highlight the need for states to take action while the FDA sits on the sidelines. Louisiana Speaker of the House Clay Schexnayder stated “it only takes one bad product that would cause a major hiccup in moving forward hemp and it would be a wave that would be hard to reel back in and is something that a synthetic product or manmade product that got in a natural hemp product would be bad.”
These comments from state officials call into question a statement made by a spokesperson for the FDA that the Agency is “working toward a goal of providing additional guidance and have made substantial progress” on regulations for CBD. The Agency offered no specific details on what “progress” it has made.
“What progress has the FDA made? It’s pretty clear that the states don’t think the Agency is doing enough to keep consumers safe,” said Daniel Fabricant, Ph.D., President and CEO of NPA. “Consumers who stand to benefit from this new industry deserve to know that the products they use are safe, but we could see even more confusion in the marketplace with a patchwork of state laws. We look forward to hearing the FDA’s plan to bring certainty and transparency to the growing CBD marketplace.”
For the past three years, NPA has been asking the FDA to set a safe level of daily consumption for CBD products. Last year, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a provision that would require that provides resources so the FDA can perform a Health Hazard Evaluation (HHE) and set a safe level of CBD for consumers to use each day. The process would follow the same precedent as red yeast rice, which allows a natural product to contain a level of a drug ingredient that the FDA has determined to be safe.
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Natural Products Association
The Natural Products Association (NPA) is the trade association representing the entire natural products industry. We advocate for our members who supply, manufacture and sell natural ingredients or products for consumers. The Natural Products Association promotes good manufacturing practices as part of the growth and success of the industry. Founded in 1936, NPA represents over 700 members accounting for more than 10,000 locations of retailers, manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors of natural products, including foods, dietary supplements, and health/beauty aids. Visit www.npanational.org.