FSANZ calls for submissions on hemp application report

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 7th December 2011

Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) today called for submissions on an application to change the Food Standards Code to allow for food derived from hemp.

FSANZ is considering an amendment to the Food Standards Code that would permit the use of processed hemp seed products as food, subject to specified maximum levels of delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), but not the sale of whole or viable hemp seeds.

FSANZ Chief Executive Officer, Steve McCutcheon said, “The assessment confirms low THC hemp foods are safe to eat and may provide a useful alternative dietary source of many nutrients and polyunsaturated fatty acids, particularly omega-3 fatty acids.”

“Hemp is used in other countries, including Canada, the United States and many European countries, in a range of foods such as health bars, salad oils, non-soy tofu and non-dairy cheeses,” he said.

Comments from government agencies, public health professionals, industry and the community are invited by 1 February 2012. This will be the final round of public comment before a final assessment by FSANZ goes to the FSANZ Board in early 2012.

If the Board approves a decision to amend the Code, that decision will be notified to the Australia and New Zealand Food Regulation Ministerial Council. The Ministerial Council then has 60 days to either ask FSANZ to review its decision or inform FSANZ that it does not intend to request a review.

FSANZ assesses use of hydrogen peroxide as processing aid

FSANZ is also assessing an application by Fonterra Co-operative Group Ltd to use Hydrogen Peroxide as a processing aid for fermented dairy ingredients and products.

An opportunity to comment will be available at a later date which will be publicly notified.

Fonterra is seeking permission the use of hydrogen peroxide as a processing aid to maintain a stable pH in the manufacture of fermented dairy ingredients and products.