Hemp Feed Coalition frustrated by bureaucratic hurdles

Hemp is currently not legal as feed for animals
calendar icon 4 March 2022
clock icon 2 minute read

The Hemp Feed Coalition (HFC) has been working to bring hemp-derived ingredients to the feed production system for poultry and livestock. HFC is a non-profit organisation made up of industry professionals from animal feed, animal supplements, feed analytics, veterinary science, and hemp industries.

In 2020, HFC submitted an application to the US Food and Drug Administration-Center for Veterinary Medicine (FDA-CVM) to have hemp seed meal for laying hens accepted as an animal feed ingredient. A by-product of the seed after the oil has been extruded, hemp seed meal is proven to be a highly nutritious protein supplement, said the group. HFC's submitted study demonstrated that the eggs of the laying hens showed multiple nutritional benefits. According to the group, the results also showed no cannabinoid transference, safety concerns, or impact on the hens or the eggs.

FDA-CVM responded by sending back the application and requesting that the laboratory analysis be rerun at even lower levels of cannabinoid detection.

"This request for lower levels of detection of compounds that are physiologically not produced in the ingredient is why HFC and the industry at large continues to be frustrated with bureaucratic hurdles strangling the potential of the hemp industry," the coalition said in a press release. "These feed applications cost roughly $250,000 each, require years to complete, and are specific to the ingredient and the species."

At the current rate of approval, HFC said it will cost millions of dollars and decades before the government allows the hemp industry to compete in the feed market.

Melanie Epp

Melanie Epp is a freelance agricultural journalist from Ontario, Canada.

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