Position paper of the European Industrial Hemp Association (EIHA)
With this document, the European Industrial Hemp Association (EIHA) publishes a unique position paper on reasonable guidance values for THC in food. It is the result of one year of work and based on the exchange of several international scientists and experts. The scientifically sound new THC guidance values will protect consumers from any undesirable side effects without unnecessarily compromising the market of hemp products. The proposed THC guidance values are in line with the regulations in Canada, USA, Switzerland, Australia and New Zealand. In comparison, the German guidance values from 1999 are far too strict and scientifically outdated, but nevertheless applied in several member states of the European Union.
These costly one-year activities, financed by the European Industrial Hemp Association (EIHA), were necessary because of the unfavourable framework conditions in the European Union: Further investment and growth in Europe are delayed or even in danger because of a patchwork of national regulations. The hemp food sector has grown with considerable speed over the last several years and has reached a volume of 40 Million € in Europe and a global volume of 200 Million €. Reasonable regulations, especially harmonized THC guidance values are crucial for the further development of the domestic hemp food industry and to ensure access to the ‘nutritional powerhouse’ of hemp nuts containing a wide fatty acid range (including the healthy linolenic acids: alpha-linolenic acid and gamma-linolenic acid) and easy-to-digest proteins.
EIHA asks the European Commission to create a working group in DG Health to develop harmonised guidelines for THC in hemp food products, based on the EIHA proposal, to overcome the existing patchwork of national regulations. Harmonised legislation should be applied in all member states. This will guarantee consumer safety and the further expansion of the hemp food industry, attract direct and indirect investments and create new jobs.
The eleven-page report shows unique in-depth background information on all issues around THC in food, strictly based on scientific evidence. The report can be downloaded for free: 17-09-18-THC-Position-paper_EIHA