Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Will new evidence enlarge the FSA public list?

A final call to CBD businesses to supply evidence has today been issued by the Food Standards Agency (FSA), the independent government department which manages the public list of CBD products which are allowed to remain on sale in the UK while they go through the authorisation process for novel foods. The list will be updated twice before the end of June, says the FSA, and not thereafter. The statement has been made in response to approaches from companies coming forward with new evidence following publication of a version of the public list on Thursday 31 March.

Rebecca Sudworth, director of policy at the FSA, explains, “Our announcement on 31 March that the CBD public list should be used to help prioritise efforts to enforce the novel food regulations has prompted a number of companies to come forward with new evidence linking large numbers of individual products to applications. We are reviewing this new evidence to assess whether these products meet the criteria to be added to the list.

“This is an unexpected development as this product information should have been provided to us much earlier in the process. To support businesses to achieve compliance for their products, we are therefore making one final call for evidence from businesses to link their products to credible applications. Any businesses that have not already done so must send this evidence to us as soon as possible, but no later than 26 May for consideration.

“We aim to update the public list twice before 30 June, with the first update due very shortly. After 30 June, no new products will be added. The only changes made after this will be to reflect changes to the status of products in our novel foods authorisation process.

“The CBD business is a large and complex market, where currently no products on sale have formally been through the necessary safety assessment. The FSA continues to take a proportionate and pragmatic approach to bringing this huge range of products towards compliance. There will continue to be a degree of change in the short term as the process continues. Certainty will only come after authorisation of CBD applications is achieved.”

Of the 900 novel food applications made since 1 January 2021 for CBD (with multiple products potentially attached to one application), 680 have been rejected, and a further 42 were withdrawn by the applicant, according to the FSA. That has left products from just 70 applications on the public list, five of which are classed as validated, and the remainder as ‘awaiting evidence’.

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