18 June 2020 - Deborah Wilkes
The Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) has filed a citizen petition calling on the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to regulate cannabidiol (CBD) as a legal dietary supplement.
The industry association wants the FDA to establish a “regulatory pathway to legally market dietary supplements containing hemp-derived CBD”.
A year since FDA's public hearing
Steve Mister, president and chief executive officer of the CRN, pointed out that it was a year since the FDA had held a public hearing on potential ways of regulating hemp-derived substances, including CBD (click here to read the News story).
“During this time,” said Mister, “consumer interest has grown, sales have increased, and product innovation has expanded, all while the FDA has taken no substantial steps towards legalising the ingredient.”
The CRN was “disappointed in the FDA’s lack of forward movement with respect to regulating CBD”, added Mister, noting that the industry association had “called on the agency repeatedly to address this regulatory gap”.
Mister said the citizen petition urged the FDA to take action by providing a legal pathway to market for responsible companies, and to enforce existing dietary supplement requirements for companies already marketing CBD as dietary supplements.
He added that the petition urged the FDA to “ensure consumer safety to the 20 million Americans who took CBD dietary supplements”.
Pose a risk to consumers
“While dangerous products do not represent the majority of the CBD supplement space,” he said, “some products on the market do pose risks to consumers because they are poorly manufactured, improperly labelled or illegally deliver adulterants.”
“At the same time,” he continued, “responsible CBD companies that do comply with the well-developed body of law and regulations governing dietary supplements and that produce beneficial products must compete with companies that repeatedly cut corners, skirt the law and take advantage of the FDA’s lack of regulatory oversight.”
“Once FDA allows a legal pathway to market for CBD dietary supplements, the agency can begin enforcing existing regulations for dietary supplements and take enforcement action against companies that do not comply with those federal requirements,” he added.
Mister said it was “critical that the FDA acts immediately for the benefit of the agency, industry, retailers, and most importantly, consumers”.
“The longer the agency waits to act, the more complicated and uncontrollable the space can become,” he warned. “Numerous states are already moving to protect their own citizens with state-based requirements and restrictions that further encumber the likelihood of a single, federally uniform CBD marketplace, while a growing number of consumer class-action lawsuits being brought against CBD manufacturers, distributors, and retailers, further muddy the legal status of CBD.”