New York Gov. Kathy Hochul has vetoed legislation on hempseed animal feed, suggesting more research is needed to ensure animal safety.
The governor cited a lack of approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in turning back two bills related to the inclusion of hemp seeds in pet food and certain animal feed formulas.
Supporters have argued that hempseed hulls and seed meal could be nutritious, high-protein and high-fiber additives for pet food and for animal feed specifically for – and limited to – horses, llamas and alpacas. The bills would not have authorized hemp seed additives for other commercial livestock due to regulatory protections against feed for animals that are consumed by humans.
The proposed legislation is similar to measures that have been enacted in Montana and Pennsylvania.
While holding back hempseed feed for now, Hochul announced she has directed researchers at Cornell University to study the impacts of the use of hemp seed or hemp seed products in animal feed “in an expeditious manner” as part of an effort to expand the state’s hemp outputs.
Advocates have said the legalization of hempseed as feed could generate tax revenue for the state, but that wouldn’t happen any time soon, as New York hemp harvests have been minuscule, and virtually no hemp seed – either for food for humans or animal feed – is being produced.
New York Farmers harvested just 120 acres of hemp in 2022, all of that for CBD flowers, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistical Service.