Hemp Flash Press Release 1 May 2017 – LINK
Press Release – Hemp seed foods
1 May 2017
NZ Hemp Industries Association Inc (1997) issue the following press release on the topic of leaglising hemp seed food
A baby step when we could have had a giant leap forward
The Chairman of the NZHIA, Mack McIntosh expresses his extreme disappointment following an agreement on Friday 28th April between New Zealand and Australian food safety authorities that see hemp seed legalised as food in New Zealand.
“After 18 years of consultation, the Food Ministers are still treating us like a drug crop and only allowing hemp seed foods. This is a massive missed economic opportunity.
In a short time we could have been leading the world! And all sorts of industries would have developed not just in the seed and grain industry,” says McIntosh.
The current decision means that we will not have access to the food and beverages from hemp leaves and flowering tops.
“The high value nutrition potential is massive, phenols to fragrances are available from this one arable crop and our farmers want access to the revenue streams from the whole plant, not just the seed,” says McIntosh.
The seed and grain industry will scale up to meet the consumer demand and bring jobs and investment into regional New Zealand.
But the iHemp industry could be much bigger if we include the food and beverages produced from the 20% of the crop left in the field as leaf and flowering tops.
“This is a brand new opportunity for farmers to grow a crop and the region to significantly add value by processing the iHemp into high value nutrition hemp products. But 80% of the potential will be missed, because iHemp is still considered to be like growing a drug,” says McIntosh.
The NZHIA is well positioned to represent the industry on the cross-agency working group which is being set up. “We’ve worked with the Government in the past on the inter-agency working group which came up with the iHemp regulations in 2006 so it makes sense for us to be part of these discussions,” says McIntosh.
For further comment please contact:
Mack McIntosh – Chairman 03 415 8888
Richard Barge – Treasurer 021 706 690
Chris Woodney – Government Liaison 027 348 8842
The problems with only allowing hemp foods
Hemp seeds are a super food, Omega 3,6,9, vitamins, amino acids and good fats all in a from your body likes, it is going to be terrific for consumers to have another plant based choice which can be made in to a huge range of foods.
But what about foods and beverages from other parts of the plant specifically leaf and flower.
High value nutrition products processed from the phenols, terpenes, flavonoids in the flowering tops will not be available. No development work will be done in these fields, this will cost us dearly in being at the forefront of this emerging global industry.
So what can we do:
Hemp seeds can be used as an ingredient or made into 3 types of foods:
- Oil – max THC 10 mg/kg
- Beverages – max THC 0.2 mg/kg
- Any other product, extracted or derived from seeds – max THC 5 mg/kg
THC is the psychoactive cannabinoid in Cannabis. The other 60+cannabinoids are non psychoactive and the regulations accept that these are naturally occurring.
The unnecessary parts of the variation to the Food Code
- Having identified the problem as THC they have set limits as above. But they also voted to control other “safe” cannabinioids, especially Cannabidiol (CBD), the “Anti THC” cannabinoid. by placing a 7.5% limit on CBD, where will it end?
- No images of leaves or cannabis plants will be allowed in advertising only pictures of seeds will be permitted.
- You can’t mention cannabis or marijuana or words with similar meaning.in your advertising or packaging
- Can’t mention nutrition and health claims of CBD
The 80/20 situation
- The minister predicts a $20 million dollar industry for hemp seed foods, this is only 20% of the potential hemp FOOD industry which could be worth $100 million
- If the Australian prediction is correct hemp seed could be worth 1 billion with the total hemp food market being a potential 5 billion and that would just be the beginning for the Australasian industry.
Who Misses out
- Consumers in Australia and New Zealand who don’t have access to the foods and supplements that they are demanding
The background and workability of the variation to the Food Code
- A problem for consumers who will not have the freedom to access hemp seed (in fact all hemp foods) as they do in international markets.
- They will be deprived of superior health gains from this high value nutritional product.
- Commencement in 6 months, but already Ministry of Health are signaling it will take longer. Assuming a gazetted date in May we could know by November, which would be to late for the 2017/2018 season. But we should be ready to scale up in 2018/2019
- Why a control on CBD levels, yet we can’t put this information on a label. packaging or marketing
- Don’t mention THC yet the ministers press release mentioned THC many times, this is a mixed message. THC is not something we want to advertise due to negative connotations.
- The NZHIA are very disappointed that the Food Ministers have not been honest about the safety and benefits of hemp foods. And did not take into account the fact and evidence based approach they say they follow
- MOH continue to treat us like a drug instead of just another arable crop.
- There is nothing dangerous in hemp foods! What are they scared of and why won’t they support this important healthy food source!!
- We could have been a world leader but for now we only have access to part of the industry.