In Scotland, some CBD makers repackaging food products as cosmetics

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Some Scottish CBD makers have begun identifying as cosmetics CBD products previously marketed as food, the country’s food safety enforcement officers have reported. The tactic is intended to circumvent food safety regulations which are the subject of ongoing discussions in Scotland and the UK.

The practice came to light during the recent general meeting of the Scottish Food Enforcement Officers Association (SFEOA) during which the Scottish Hemp Association (SHA) made a presentation on hemp foods and CBD products.

Product switching

While the “cosmetics” producers don’t necessarily suggest consumers ingest the products, the officers said they know that is happening. The phenomenon is one the officers said they’ve never seen before, according to Kyle Esplin, SHA Chairman, who made the presentation and sat in on a Q&A session that followed.

The product-switching practice is a way for producers to maneuver around Scotland’s rules for new – or “novel” — foods, which require all CBD to go through an approval process different from those governing cosmetics.

In a review of the recent meeting with the SFEOA, Esplin said enforcement officers themselves suggested the current CBD regulatory landscape is serving neither the hemp industry nor consumers. He blames Scottish regulators’ underlying ignorance for the current situation, suggesting they fail to understand the difference between hemp extracts containing naturally derived CBD and that which is isolated or synthetically produced.

Call for exemption

The SHA has suggested to Food Standards Scotland that all naturally derived hemp extracts produced using food safe techniques such as Co2 extraction should be exempt from novel foods regulations. Stakeholders have agreed, meanwhile, that synthetic CBD and isolates should come under those rules.

Naturally derived CBD is produced through a low temperature process that turns it into “whole plant” hemp extracts, also known as CBDa oil. Though perfectly safe, such formulations cannot meet novel foods safety standards because CBDa destablizes over time. It’s those products that consumers are demanding, Esplin said.

“These products are in clear demand and we know more consumers will be protected if all of these products can remain under food regulations, rather than some producers feeling forced to reformulate or re-purpose a product that they have worked so hard to create, and one that their consumers keep requesting,” Esplin wrote in the review.

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