Four major U.S consumer groups are urging Congress to reject proposals to fast-track approval of cannabidiol (CBD) use in dietary supplements and food products.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is currently evaluating the safety of CBD – and taking their time doing it. Last year the Administration acknowledged the potential for cannabidiol, but said it needed to “CBD”: Collect Better Data. As recently as March, the agency said it still had many gaps in knowledge.
The time the FDA is taking is causing all sorts of issues for the nation’s hemp sector and creating confusion in consumers. The Administration has come under increasing pressure from some corners of Congress to provide official guidance on cannabidiol extracted from hemp.
However, the Consumer Federation of America, the Center for Science in the Public Interest, Consumer Reports, and the Public Health Institute want the FDA to have all the time it needs.
Furthermore, a letter co-signed by the four groups urges Congress to give FDA the resources and authority it needs to ensure all dietary supplements and food additives are safe, and to defer to FDA’s expertise in conducting safety reviews.
“Forcing the FDA into rushed decisions and to prematurely implement major regulatory changes would result in an unsafe CBD market and distract the FDA from its current pandemic response and recovery efforts,” says the letter.
The letter contains a number of concerns regarding cannabidiol – including issues related to mislabelling and poor labelling of products, potential side effects, THC levels and contaminants – all of which the groups say need thorough examination.
While CBD is the focus, the groups believe Congress should provide additional authority for the FDA to regulate all supplements.
“Congress should give the FDA the support it needs to do its job, and fix the many serious shortcomings in its existing authorities,” states the letter. “These shortcomings pose a safety risk to consumers of CBD and other products that cannot be ignored. We urge Congress not to erode—but instead to strengthen—the position of the FDA to address these issues in foods and supplements and protect health, as its mission requires.”
The full 8-page letter can be viewed here.