US hemp organization: FDA needs to hurry up and authorize hemp seed meal as feed ingredient

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/ldo Frazao
© GettyImages/ldo Frazao

Related tags hemp seed meal laying hens dairy cattle

The National Industrial Hemp Council (NIHC) has written to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) asking it act quickly to approve hemp seed meal as a feed ingredient.

Patrick Atagi, CEO of that organization, told FDA Commissioner, Robert Califf, that there is an urgent need for alternative feedstuffs.

“Part of our mission has been to promote the safe and efficient use of hemp-based animal feed for the production of livestock. The US agriculture industry is struggling with a global grain shortage that is a direct result of the war in Ukraine. This has resulted in a direct increase in inputs for all domestic livestock producers of 16% since last year, according to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).

“Hemp is an environmentally responsible and domestically grown alternative. Considering the higher costs associated with the worldwide grain shortage, a sustainable American hemp crop is a nutritious source of animal feed, and it can lower the cost of farming feed inputs. This would be good news for farmers and consumers who now struggle with the higher costs of milk, meat, and eggs,"​ reads the letter​.

In August, the NIHC hosted a webinar ​with the American Association of Feed Control Officials (AAFCO), comprised of local, state, and federal officials responsible for safeguarding the sale and distribution of animal feeds and veterinary medicine. Over 1,000 people, from regulators at all levels of government, veterinarians, university researchers, and hemp advocates, participated in the online event. “It was a fascinating discussion that showed great interest and agreement on hemp’s potential as a nutritious feed source for production animals,”​ noted Atagi.

He said there is no reason why the FDA hasn’t already approved hempseed-based animal feed ingredients.

“We have seen numerous clinical trials, by Land Grant Universities and others, submitted to the FDA that all show the same outcome, that there is no transference of cannabinoids into the nation’s food supply chain from animals raised on hemp seed meal. Those results are consistent across the various species of animals, including laying hens, hogs, and dairy cattle.”

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