Legal Limbo Over; Marketplace Wide Open
Washington, DC — Manufacturers of nutritious hemp foods will exhibit a wide variety of products at the Natural Products Expo East at the Washington Convention Center, October 14-17. These companies are thrilled that the Bush Administration did not appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court by the September 28 deadline the Ninth Circuit’s unanimous February 6 ruling that hemp foods are perfectly legal for sale and consumption in the U.S. The Hemp Industries Association (HIA) won the 3-year HIA v. DEA case, invalidating once and for all the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) misguided attempt to ban nutritious and safe hemp seed and oil foods.
“Removing the cloud the DEA put into the marketplace will spur a dramatic surge in the supply and consumption of healthy omega-3 rich hemp seed in America,” says David Bronner, Chair of the HIA’s Food and Oil Committee and President of Alpsnack / Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps (Expo East Booth #3906). “This is a huge victory for the hemp industry. The Bush Administration decision not to appeal the Ninth Circuit’s decision from earlier this year means the three-year-old legal battle over hemp seed products is finally over. The three-judge panel in the Ninth Circuit unanimously ruled that the DEA ignored the specific Congressional exemption in the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) that excludes hemp fiber, seed and oil from control along with poppy seeds. The Court viewed as insignificant and irrelevant harmless trace amounts of THC in hemp seed, just like harmless trace amounts of opiates in poppy seeds.”
“Americans are looking for healthy alternative sources of omega-3 to supplement their diets due to concerns regarding trace mercury in fish and fish oil supplements,” says Candi Penn, Executive Director of the HIA. Alexis Baden-Mayer, Director of Government Affairs for Vote Hemp. adds: “Right now the U.S. marketplace is supplied by hemp seed grown and processed in Canada and Europe. We will now work to convince Congress it is time for the U.S. to again allow American farmers to grow industrial hemp and participate in this lucrative growth market.”
Hemp Food Companies Attending Expo East React to Final Victory
Members of the Media Welcome to Visit
Nature’s Path Foods, Booth #1917: “We are very excited that our best-selling Organic Hemp Plus Granola Cereal® and our LifeStream Natural Hemp Plus Waffles® will continue to be available in thousands of stores nationwide,” says Arran Stephens, President and Founder.
French Meadow Bakery, Booth #901: “DEA was foolish to try to ban hemp seed because it is a rich source of protein, dietary fiber, minerals, iron, vitamin E, and a near perfect composition of essential fatty acids — Omega 3 and 6,” says Lynn Gordon, President. “We expect sales of our Healthy Hemp Bread® to increase enormously as a result of the court ruling.”
Nutiva, Booth #2642: “Nutiva’s organic hemp protein powder, bars, seeds, and oil can now be sold without concern over its legality,” says Founder/CEO John W. Roulac.
Living Harvest, Booth #3139: “Vegetarians everywhere should celebrate this court ruling,” says Les Szabo, co-founder. “People have a right to eat our nutritious Hemp Power Bar, Hemp Protein, Hemp Oil and Hemp Seed Nut.”
Manitoba Harvest, Booth #1150: “The decision will boost tremendously demand for our brand of Oil, Nut, Nut Butter and Protein Powder as well as our bulk and private label service”, says Mike Fata, North American Sales Manager.
Also, at the Canadian Hemp Trade Alliance (CHTA), Booth #530, Ruth’s Hemp Foods, Hemp Oil Canada and Hemp Sisters will be exhibiting a diverse array of hemp food products. “Canadian farmers and processors are gearing up for the exploding U.S. demand for hemp seed and oil,” says Arthur Hanks, Executive Director of the CHTA.
Hemp Food Was Victim of Drug War Hysteria
Fighting the DEA ban cost leading hemp companies roughly $200,000. Documents uncovered through the Freedom of Information Act show that attorneys at the Department of Justice as far back as March 2000 knew they lacked the authority to ban hemp food products. Patrick Goggin, an attorney for the HIA, stated: “The damages this egregious policy havecaused are widespread to say the least. The industryis fully considering its options forrecovering these damages and the cost of defending against this underhanded governmental action.”
DEA Admitted Hemp Food Does Not Pose Any Harm, Leading Nutritionist Agrees
During final arguments, the DEA acknowledged that hemp foods have no abuse potential, stating “The concern of the Drug Enforcement Administration isn’t particularized to the particular products that these Petitioners make. The DEA has never said, has never focused on the particular products and said anyone can get high from them, or that they pose a harm to people.” According to Nutritionist and best selling author Dr. Andrew Weil, “There is absolutely no health concern about trace amounts of THC in Hemp foods. I think the federal court decision is great.”
Public Outrage Against DEA Hemp Food Ban
In regard to widespread outrage over the DEA’s “Final Rule” — 115,000 public comments, a letter from the Canadian government, and a letter from Congress co-signed by 22 Representatives were submitted to DEA opposed to the hemp food ban. Protests were organized by Vote Hemp against DEA’s attempts to ban hemp foods. In December 2001 and again in April 2003, at more than 50 DEA offices nationwide, activists gave away hemp foods; poppy seed bagels and orange juice that contain trace THC, opiates and alcohol respectively to highlight the absurdity of DEA’s rules. These “Hemp Food Taste Tests” generated public outrage and forced former DEA Administrator Asa Hutchinson to debate Vote Hemp Director Eric Steenstra on National Public Radio.
Hemp Foods are Safe and Nutritious — DEA Rules Were Ridiculous!
Hemp seed is one of the most perfect sources for human nutrition in all of nature. In addition to its excellent flavor profile, the seed meat protein supplies all essential amino acids in an easily digestible form and with a high protein efficiency ratio. Hemp seed oil offers high concentrations of the two essential fatty acids (EFAs) in a perfect ratio of the omega-3/omega-6 acids. EFA’s are the “good fats” that doctors recommend as part of a healthy, balanced diet. This superior nutritional profile makes shelled hempseed and oil ideal for a wide range of functional food applications and as an effective fatty acid supplement. Not surprisingly, shelled hempseed and oil are increasingly used in natural food products, such as bread, nutrition bars, hummus, nondairy milks, meatless burgers and cereals.
Eating Hemp Food Does Not Cause Failed Drug Tests
U.S. hemp food companies voluntarily observe reasonable THC limits similar to those adopted by European nations as well as Canada and Australia. These limits protect consumers with a wide margin of safety from workplace drug-testing interference (see hemp industry standards regarding trace THC at www.testpledge.com). The DEA has hypocritically not targeted food manufacturers for using poppy seeds (in bagels and muffins, for example) even though they contain far higher levels of trace opiates. The recently revived global hemp market is a thriving commercial success. Unfortunately, because the DEA’s Drug War paranoia has confused non-psychoactive industrial hemp varieties of cannabis with psychoactive “marihuana” varieties, the U.S. is the only major industrialized nation to prohibit the growing of industrial hemp.
Copyright © 2004, Hemp Industries Association. All rights reserved.