CBD Supplements Safety: EU Two Years Behind UK
When it comes to assessing the safety of CBD in foods, the EU appears to be lagging behind the UK. Food Standards Agency CEO Emily Miles has noted that EFSA recently reached the same conclusions as the UK’s Committee on Toxicity did two years ago: there are still evidence gaps relating to CBD as a food. This may reassure UK operators that with the FSA further along in the assessment process it will not follow EFSA in suspending CBD novel food applications - but as expert Greer Deal notes, it's too soon to say.
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All European Union CBD novel food applications have been paused by EFSA after its Panel on Nutrition, Novel Foods and Food Allergens raised concerns about the ingredient's safety, pointing in a wide-ranging scientific literature review to a number of data gaps related to bioavailability, liver damage, gastrointestinal issues and possible negative impacts on pregnancy and reproductive health.
The UK’s Food Standards Agency has added almost 2,500 products to its recently published cannabidiol list, and “removed” 34, meaning that they must be withdrawn from retail shelves immediately. Confusion remains, however, with the regulator's shadowy "active application" category conflicting with its advice to enforcers to start clamping down not just on products marked "removed" but also products not on the list.
In a report to a forthcoming board meeting, UK FSA policy head Rebecca Sudworth acknowledges that the agency could have “better anticipated” the surge in cannabidiol applications received just before the 31 March 2021 deadline.