Dietary Supplement Trade Associations Urge Congress To Act On CBD

The heads of four major trade associations representing the United States dietary supplement and natural product industries have sent a letter to Congress urging them to provide legal clarity and establish customer protections for the rapidly-expanding cannabidiol (CBD) marketplace.

American Herbal Products Association President Michael McGuffin, Council for Responsible Nutrition President and CEO Steve Mister, Consumer Healthcare Products Association President and CEO Scott Melville, and United Natural Products Alliance President Loren Israelson write that Congressional action is urgent due to the strong consumer interest in CBD.

“Given the rapidly growing marketplace of products, it is crucial that Congress take quick action to clarify the legal status of hemp-derived CBD dietary supplements,” states the letter. “At the same time, it is equally essential for FDA to have the resources it needs to protect the public from unsafe CBD products.”

The letter states that legislative confirmation of CBD’s legal status is also crucial to farmers who are considering a move into the hemp industry as 85 percent of production is expected to be processed for CBD and hemp extract products in 2019.

During Food and Drug Administration (FDA) testimony in July, writes the group, the agency stated that it could take three to five years for an expedited rulemaking process to establish a regulatory pathway for CBD.

The group urges Senators and Representatives to provide FDA with statutory authority and additional resources to regulate CBD products as dietary supplements without having to go through a multi-year rulemaking process.

In closing, the group expresses their appreciation for FDA’s work to ensure safe CBD products for people but write that they are concerned that leaving the marketplace without clarity and adequate oversight for years will put both consumers and the future of hemp-derived products at risk.

“Since it appears FDA is unlikely to provide a timely and effective resolution to this challenge,” states the letter. “Congress must act.”