More than a dozen food products containing CBD have been issued recall notices by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland.
The Authority says certain batches of cannabidiol based foods and food supplements have been found to contain “unsafe” levels of delta‐9‐tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) based on the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) acute reference dose. It doesn’t mention what levels were recorded in any of the products in question.
Food retailers selling the batches involved must immediately remove them from sale and contact their supervising environmental health officer. Where implicated batches of CBD products have already been sold to consumers, those retailers are required to display a point-of-sale notice in store and on websites in cases where products are sold online.
Hemp-derived foods or ingredients may be within the scope of the novel food regulation and be legal in Ireland with the appropriate authorisation. A “novel food” is considered one that was not available on the EU market to a significant degree before 15 May 1997. Such foods cannot make medicinal claims.
FSAI says consumers are being misled and put at risk by some CBD food products. A national survey of CBD products it carried out found the majority of products analysed were in breach of various food laws and some posed potential safety risks for consumers. 37% of the products tested contained levels of THC significantly exceeding the EFSA safety limit. 41% contained CBD levels which differed by more than 50% compared to the declared level.
“We are working with the Environmental Health Service of the HSE in relation to other products identified in the survey and further appropriate action will be taken,” said FSAI CEO Dr Pamela Byrne.
Across the border in Northern Ireland*, CBD businesses were put on notice last week that they (and other UK businesses, not including Scotland) have until the end of March next year to submit valid novel food authorisation applications. This follows concerns raised about the quality of products containing cannabidiol in the UK.
*Ireland and Northern Ireland are two separate countries. The Republic of Ireland is an independent sovereign state, while Northern Ireland is part of the United Kingdom.