In a letter to U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Robert Califf, the National Industrial Hemp Council of America (NIHCA) urged the agency to “act quickly to approve hemp seed meal as an approved ingredient for production agriculture.”
“From our perspective, there is no reason why the FDA hasn’t already approved hempseed-based animal feed ingredients. We have seen numerous clinical trials, by Land Grant Universities and others, submitted to the FDA that all show the same outcome, that there is no transference of cannabinoids into the nation’s food supply chain from animals raised on hemp seed meal. Those results are consistent across the various species of animals, including laying hens, hogs, and dairy cattle.” — NIHCA in the November 3 letter
In the letter, the NIHCA said that part of the organization’s mission “has been to promote the safe and efficient use of hemp-based animal feed for the production of livestock.”
“The U.S. agriculture industry is struggling with a global grain shortage that is a direct result of the war in Ukraine,” the letter states. “This has resulted in a direct increase in inputs for all domestic livestock producers of 16% since last year, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).”
The organization indicated that while it understands and is sympathetic to “concerns about cannabinoids entering the nation’s food supply” hemp seeds are “biologically incapable of producing cannabinoids.”
The NIHCA points out that the FDA has recognized that other hemp seed products, including hearts, oil, and protein, are safe for human consumption and that the Drug Enforcement Administration earlier this year determined that cannabis seeds are not considered a controlled substance federally and legal under the Farm Bill.
“Drought and the war in Ukraine contribute to the global grain crisis. Hemp is an environmentally responsible and domestically grown alternative,” the NIHCA wrote. “Considering the higher costs associated with the worldwide grain shortage, a sustainable American hemp crop is a nutritious source of animal feed, and it can lower the cost of farming feed inputs. This would be good news for farmers and consumers who now struggle with the higher costs of milk, meat, and eggs.”
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