What Is Novel Food & Why Is It Important In The CBD Industry?

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What Is Novel Food & Why Is It Important In The CBD Industry?

Novel food is defined as a food or ingredient that hasn’t been consumed by people in the EU or UK to a significant degree before the date that the first regulation on novel food came into force in May 1997.

Essentially, there is no long history of consumption of novel foods in the EU or UK and therefore the law requires that novel foods need to be authorised before being sold in Great Britain. This legislation is an EU law that has been retained by Great Britain since Brexit.

Novel foods may include some foods or ingredients that may have long been eaten by people in other parts of the world, just not here, such as chia seeds and can also include food that has been derived by new processes, like UV-treatments on milk and bread.

The law is in place to help ensure that novel foods are safe for consumers, are labelled properly so consumers can tell what they are eating/drinking and so that if a novel food is used to replace another ingredient, the consumer doesn’t miss out nutritionally.

Getting authorisation for a novel food can be done by getting the food product certified, which can be a very long and complex process.

What does novel foods law mean for CBD?

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has confirmed that CBD extracts and isolates fall under novel food law and therefore now need to be authorised in the UK by the companies that produce, distribute and sell them. 

The deadline originally set for this was March 2021, but with that date now long past, very few companies have so far been able to obtain approval.

The application process involves a company providing highly detailed information about how the CBD is extracted, the composition and stability of each product and all of the scientific research, tests and trials that come with this, across every part of the supply chain.

This kind of undertaking simply isn’t possible for every company in the CBD industry. One of the few successful applicants for novel food certification of their CBD products so far have claimed that the process took them 18 months and more than £1.5 million in costs.

The FSA have since revised their deadline several times, with businesses in the CBD industry being able to continue trading in the meantime, but it does leave some uncertainty about the future of the sector.

What does this mean for Orange County CBD?

At Orange County CBD, we are champions of quality CBD products, using only the finest possible CBD and other ingredients to ensure our customers get nothing but the best. 

We believe that in principle, the certification requirements can be beneficial to the industry as a whole, but the outworking of the regulations to this point has not realistic or appropriate for businesses such as ours so we welcome the prospect of more deadline extensions and the possibility of joint applications so that each company doesn’t have to shoulder the entire application process burden alone.

We think that despite more scientific and medical research into CBD’s potential benefits being needed, this hasn’t stopped the huge growth of the industry over recent years, which shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon. 

Millions of people in the UK clearly already believe in and trust CBD to be beneficial to them in some way, and future certification is likely to increase that trust and demand even further. Having products officially authorised in this way will help add more legitimacy to high-quality CBD products and we hope that this will also help current advertising or payment partnership restrictions in some countries to be amended. 

We believe that this will help ensure that more people can find accurate information about CBD and source CBD products from safe, reputable suppliers more easily, enabling more people to experience the potential benefits of this compound in many areas of their life.


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