Four members in the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday introduced a bill that would create a national regulatory framework for hemp-based CBD in food and beverages.
The “CBD Product Safety and Standardization Act of 2021” would establish standards for hemp-derived CBD in food and direct FDA to issue regulations for labeling and packaging requirements, as well as conditions of use.
FDA also would be required to set a maximum amount of CBD-containing food per serving.
The bill is focused on food other than dietary supplements, the subject of previous CBD legislation in the Congress.
“CBD products are exploding in popularity, but the lack of federal regulation surrounding them has put consumers at risk and left businesses looking for clarity,” Rep. Kathleen Rice, a Democrat from New York, said in a press release.
Rice added the bill “will establish the clear regulatory framework needed to provide stability for business and ensure unsafe products stay off shelves.”
Rice introduced the bill along with Reps. Morgan Griffith (R-Va.), Angie Craig (D-Minn.) and Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas).
FDA has proclaimed U.S. law forbids adding CBD to conventional food—or marketing the cannabis-derived compound in dietary supplements—because it was first studied as a drug.
But by failing to establish national rules, FDA critics maintain, the public health agency has inhibited growth in the sector and failed to adequately protect consumers from unsafe and mislabeled products. Those in favor of a national framework also have complained that a patchwork of state regulations is unduly burdensome for businesses.
“Demand for CBD products has surged, but Food and Drug Administration regulations do not reflect this new reality,” Griffith said in the lawmakers’ press release. “As a result, adulterated or unsafe products are available that threaten consumer health. The CBD Product Safety and Standardization Act would require the FDA to address the issue and ensure more certainty in the CBD marketplace.”
Griffith is a co-sponsor of a bill introduced in February, H.R. 841, that would legalize hemp-derived CBD in dietary supplements, provided such a supplement complies with the relevant requirements of the Federal Food, Drug & Cosmetic Act. The bill has dozens of co-sponsors and could eventually be the subject of a hearing in the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.
The latest CBD bill drew the support of the U.S. Hemp Roundtable and Consumer Brands Association.
Betsy Booren, senior vice president of regulatory and technical with the Consumer Brands Association, whose members include food and beverage companies, described the new bill in the lawmakers’ press release as “a welcome step toward giving consumers consistency and promoting safety that goes across state lines.”
Editor's note: This article also was published on Natural Products Insider, the sister website to Food & Beverage Insider.