3 May 2017
The paper writes…
After rejecting proposals to amend the Food Standards Code as far back as 2002, state and federal health ministers have now decided hemp – the same species as marijuana – is safe to eat.
“The standard will take effect six months after it has been gazetted and ministers acknowledged that there is still a range of New Zealand and State and Territory legislation that currently prohibits the sale of low-THC hemp seeds as a food which will need to be amended,” reads a communique from health ministers at the Forum of Food Regulation on Friday.
Food Standards Australia and New Zealand gave its approval to lift the ban in March after concluding that hemp was safe for human consumption when they contained no more than the maximum levels of THC.
It found hemp seeds were a good source of vitamins, minerals and polyunsaturated fatty acids, particularly omega-3 fatty acids.
FSANZ first proposed amendments in 2002, but ministers were concerned about the effect on roadside drug testing and sending mixed messages to the public.
Their about-turn was triggered by a new Swinburne University study that found it was highly unlikely the consumption of low-THC hemp foods would result in positive THC readings on oral fluid, urine or blood tests.
It’s understood that labels on hemp foods must not allude to psychoactive effects or use the words “cannabis” and “marijuana”. Products could hit shelves as soon as November.