An important communication concerning the licensing of hemp seed as a human food.
from Dr Andrew Katelaris.
On the 8th March I received a phone call from FSANZ (Food Standards Australia New Zealand), giving an update on the progress of our application to have hemp foods normalised. You may be aware that a similar application in 2002 was not successful.
It is important to understand that the 2002 application passed the FSANZ examination but was rejected by a ministerial council directed by Howard and Abbott. The objection was that it “sent the wrong message” to the youth of Australia, evidently following input from elements in law enforcement.
The expected completion date for the current FSANZ examination and submission to the ministerial council was July/August. Today however, FSANZ was informed by the ministerial council that it wished to discuss this application at its face to face meeting held in December. FSANZ told me this is a very unusual request.
The scientists at FSANZ were not pleased by the action of the politicians in 2002 and they wish this current application to succeed, without undue delay. They are prepared to dispute with the politicians if there is to be a repeat of 2002 decision.
Public comment will be called on the 15th March.
Already, many people have registered themselves as interested parties and they will receive an invitation to make a submission. FSANZ can use points raised in the submissions as direct questions to the council and so make it explain any decisions it makes in a rational manner.
The best way for people to respond is by providing a submission to FSANZ once the assessment report is released for public comment. Included is a link to some good information on our website about how to provide a submission to FSANZ: http://www.foodstandards.gov.au/foodstandards/changingthecode/informationforsubmit1129.cfm
Your submission will provide ammunition which FSANZ can use to support the application, by requiring the ministerial council to consider the application on valid scientific grounds.
Below are some points you could include in your submission:-
- Australia is the only country in the world not to recognize hemp as a human food
- New Zealand already allows hemp oil as a human food.
- After flax, hemp is the richest plant source of omega 3.
- Government reports indicate that 90% of Australian schoolchildren do not receive an ideal quantity of omega 3.
- Deficiency of omega 3 has been linked to poor mental development and behavioural problems.
- Marine sources of omega 3 are limited and reducing with pressures from overfishing. Contamination with PCB and mercury remain a problem.
- Hemp seed provides a uniquely nutritionally dense food combining an ideal ratio of omega 3/6, a balanced protein and a range of vitamins and minerals in high concentrations.
- Hemp is grown with minimal to no chemical inputs and is an ideal plant for organic cultivation.
- Hemp is the only food that can be grown with a negative carbon footprint. Grown on a large scale hemp seed could positively impact on world hunger.
- Hemp foods would introduce a whole new industry in Australia with a great potential to improve public health and promote employment.
….and there are many more very good reasons!
Thank you for taking a few moments to make a submission and supporting the introduction of hemp foods.
Kindly forward this to your email contacts.
You could also write to the prime minister and the health ministers of your state.