CBD and Novel Foods regulation in the UK: regulation then and now

CBD and Novel Foods regulation in the UK: regulation then and now

Always Pure Organics explores how CBD and Novel Foods regulation in the UK paves the way for a safer, more profitable industry, how best to work within the guidelines of the regulations, and how Always Pure Organics can help companies with Novel Foods applications.

As CBD and Novel Foods regulation is ramped up in the UK, Always Pure Organics is helping companies with Novel Foods Applications to ensure all standards are met.

It is undeniable that the CBD market requires some form of regulation. It seemed like every other week some media outlet or enterprising journalist released a shocking expose of a selection of high street brands of CBD products that contained anything from the following list; THC levels over the legal limit, CBD levels well below the stated amount, dangerous traces of solvents or heavy metals etc. With the only restriction on products coming in the form of preventing medical claims, there were a considerable number of ‘cowboys’ who flogged poor quality products early on, made a quick million or so, then disappeared.

Not only did this lower confidence in the market as consumers were left feeling either cheated at not getting what they were sold or let down that the product didn’t work as they’d hoped, but it was also potentially dangerous.

CBD and Novel Foods regulation

The newest legislation for Novel Foods was laid out in January of 2018 and CBD was classified as ‘novel’ (meaning that it wasn’t consumed to a significant degree in humans before the 15 May, 1997) in January of 2019. After a mixed response from the industry, with some immediately beginning applications but others effectively ignoring it, there was a subsequent decision by the Foods Standards Agency to introduce a deadline of the 31 March, 2021. Any CBD product which was on the market before the announcement must have a ‘validated’ application, and products sold after must have an approved application to remain on the market. From the 1 April, any product that fails to meet these criteria is subject to removal by the local trading authority.

Since a validated application can take between one to three months and an approved application can take anything up to two years, it is critical for business that wish to continue trading to begin their application as soon as possible, or to ensure that their chosen supplier is making an application that covers their product.

There are many parts to a Novel Foods application, not just the information itself that must be provided. A dossier of evidence supporting the safety of the proposed foodstuff must be compiled, which includes such things as the production process, product specifications, toxicology information, and allergenicity, etc. Some of this will be immediately available, but issues like subchronic toxicity, for example, will require specialised testing to be carried out. Once the dossier has been completed and submitted to the European Commission (or FSA in the UK after the 1 January, 2021) there will be a two to three month period in which they will determine if the application is suitable to be validated.

Once validated, the application will be passed to the EFSA who will have nine months to perform a risk assessment if no further information is required. If the EFSA approves, it is then passed to the European Commission who have a further seven months in which to decide whether to add the foodstuff to the list of Novel Foods.

Submitting a Novel Food Application

Clearly, there is a great benefit for businesses that only need to get their application validated to remain on shelves initially, but for business that wish to expand into the UK market there is no reason not to start an application as soon as possible.

Despite the work required to submit an application, Novel Foods regulations offer significant benefits for the CBD industry as a whole. By enforcing stricter controls on what products can be sold, there is less chance that consumers are sold an ineffective, illegal, or potentially harmful product. This in turn will ensure that when people use CBD products, they are getting effective use out of what they’ve bought and are more likely to be satisfied, thus increasing confidence in the market and the chance of consumers returning.

Always Pure Organics’ own Novel Foods application is well on its way to completion and we intend to use our experience and amassed knowledge bank to assist other companies with their own applications.

This is a service offered by many food regulators, but few of these companies will have the same extensive experience working with CBD than Always Pure Organics. Furthermore, you can feel assured that your application has the best possible chance of succeeding because it will draw from the same sources as our own, and we have a solid interest in getting our application to pass.

To conclude, Novel Foods is a promising statement of dedication from the European Commission to ensuring that cannabis products remain a part of the white market. Tighter regulations will serve only to protect the consumers and increase confidence in the industry, making it stronger for both customers and businesses. Though early adopters will have an easier transition, there is no better time than now to begin your own application if you intend to supply any form of CBD product to the UK market.

If you would like to find out more about how Always Pure Organics can help you with your CBD Novel Foods Application, please visit: https://www.alwayspureorganics.com/compliance/

Sam Mallach
Always Pure Organics Ltd
+44 800 772 0697


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