At its 2021 Hemp Business Summit held last week, the USA’s National Industrial Hemp Council (NIHC) announced plans to roll out a pilot program to improve hemp CBD product testing and labelling.
Popularity of cannabidiol continues to grow in the USA – it’s being used in all sorts of products. Unfortunately, not all these products are of good quality. Accurate labelling has also been an issue for years and continues to be. This is in part due to delayed guidance from the FDA on how CBD is treated in food, supplement and nutraceutical markets.
Another challenge is how products are tested – methods vary and there have been cases where supposedly independent third party verification services have fudged results to read whatever the manufacturer wants.
A survey carried out back in 2019 revealed many Americans were unaware the FDA hadn’t developed safety standards for cannabidiol. In short, the CBD industry in the USA is still in some ways very much in the “wild west” phase.
“Since the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, consumers have been waiting for the FDA to act on CBD,” said NIHC President and CEO, Patrick Atagi. “Without any guidance from the FDA thus far, NIHC is stepping up to develop our own testing standards and labeling protocols that we believe will enhance consumer safety and protect the consumer’s right to know.”
NIHC is says it is investigating testing standards and third-party testing label requirements in relation to potency, pesticides, metals, terpenes and other attributes. It’s envisioned products using the process will have an NIHC label, acting as a signal the products have been manufactured and tested observing stringent safety protocols.
“This initiative will bring value to the marketplace and peace of mind to the consumer with reliable and transparent information about CBD products,” said NIHC Board Member Barry Carpenter.
A global advocate for North America’s industrial hemp industry, the NIHC works to promote the sustainable long-term growth of the sector and protecting consumers.
As well as domestic markets, the NIHC also has an eye on what US hemp can achieve overseas. In July this year, the NIHC estimated U.S. exports of hemp and hemp-derived products eclipsed $1.8 billion in 2020, up from $310 million in 2019.