FDA’s crackdown on CBD in beverages

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As we reported recently​, FDA released a constituent update on November 21 in which the Agency FDA said it had “not found adequate information showing how much CBD can be consumed, and for how long, before causing harm”​ and had just sent warning letters to five companies selling CBD-infused foods or beverages.

While some of the explanations were not especially unusual, the letters were different to earlier ones from the agency about CBD.

Daniel Fabricant, PhD, President and CEO of the Natural Products Association (NPA), told us: “These warning letters are different in a few ways in contrast to the letters we’ve seen prior, which have primarily been on dietary supplements and all have mentioned disease claims (unapproved drug claims) and really lead with those claims as the primary regulatory issue.

“This is the first time FDA is focused on CBD as a chemical entity as the sole basis for the warning, which they (FDA) doubled down on with their constituent update that takes added pains to spread the FDA’s opinion that there are somehow greater risks inherent to foods containing CBD than supplements.  I’m unaware of the data source FDA is using to make that assumption, and if there is an ongoing safety evaluation on CBD, as the agency received added appropriations for, there needs to be a clear communication to all when that will be completed and when the agency will find a pathway forward on a safe daily amount to consume.

“Credibility is diminished when only risk is discussed and no approach to inform Americans, a number who are using CBD daily, on what is a safe level to consume daily when other governments have already established those numbers even on an interim basis.”

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