Yesterday, the Food Standards Agency (FSA), which regulates foods and food businesses in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, issued its long-awaited statement on CBD in foods.

In January 2019, the European Commission updated the Novel Food Catalogue to state that extracts of Cannabis sativa L. and derived products containing cannabinoids are considered as novel foods, as a history of consumption has not been demonstrated. As a result, all extracts of hemp and derived products containing cannabinoids (including CBD) are now regarded by the European Commission as novel. The FSA responded by stating that it accepted the conclusion of the Commission and was “committed to finding a proportionate way forward…to clarify how to achieve compliance in the marketplace in a proportionate manner”.

Following the UK’s departure from the European Union, the current rules on novel foods will continue to apply until 1 January 2021, when the transition period under the UK’s withdrawal agreement from the EU comes to an end. However, the FSA has now confirmed its position on enforcement and prescribed actions which it considers “are a pragmatic and proportionate step in balancing the protection of public health with consumer choice“.


Continue Reading Food Standards Agency announcement on CBD

On 15 April we issued a client Advisory summarising the current regulatory environment in Europe and the US for foods and cosmetics containing cannabidiol (CBD).

The status of such products, however, remains uncertain in several important respects. This note therefore identifies areas where developments or clarification are currently anticipated and addresses the use of CBD in vaping products.


Continue Reading Update on the EU Regulation of CBD in Foods and Vaping

On 12 November 2018 the EU Commission announced that its rapid alert system formerly known as ‘RAPEX’ is being updated and rebranded as ‘Safety Gate’.  Aside from the rebranding, the main new features of the Safety Gate platform are that it is more accessible to consumers, being now available in 25 languages, and it is capable of being shared by consumers via social media.

With certain exceptions, this online product safety database covers dangerous non-food products.  It includes cosmetic products, but not medicines or medical devices.  It is populated by alerts of potentially serious risks posed by such products.  In line with applicable EU legislation, economic operators are required to notify risks presented by products that they have placed on the market in the EU to the competent national authorities in the Member States in which the affected products have been sold.  The legislation requiring such notification is the General Product Safety Directive, or sector-specific legislation with similar effect, such as the legislation applicable to toys and electrical goods, as implemented in each Member State.  The legislation also obliges operators to take corrective actions, such as product recall, if appropriate.


Continue Reading EU Safety Gate