New DEA Rule Threatens to Shut Down Hemp Food Industry
November 11, 2001
New DEA Rule Threatens to Shut Down Hemp Food Industry; Activists Respond with Nationwide 'DEA Taste Test'
The burgeoning $5 million-a-year hemp food industry is facing a huge challenge as the Drug Enforcement Agency issues new rules banning all hemp seed and oil food products that contain minuscule amounts of THC. Hemp food enthusiasts and leading hemp food manufacturers will conduct nationwide DEA Challenge Taste Tests in 69 cities on Dec. 4 at 11:30 a.m., including one at the DEA's headquarters located at 700 Army Navy Drive in Arlington, Va., to protest the rule.
-- John Roulac, founder of Nutiva, a hemp food manufacturer, and plaintiff against the new rule
-- David Bronner, chair, Hemp Industries Association (HIA) Food and Oil Committee
-- Eric Steenstra, president of Vote Hemp
Hemp Food "Taste Test" Protest and Media Availability
Tuesday, Dec. 4, at 11:30 a.m.
Drug Enforcement Agency Headquarters
700 Army Navy Drive
At the "DEA Taste Tests," hemp food enthusiasts will offer various food products to DEA employees during their lunch break. Highly nutritious hemp seeds and oil have absolutely no psychoactive effect and are about as likely to be abused as poppy seed bagels for their trace opiate content, or fruit juices because of their trace alcohol content (present through natural fermentation). The DEA has not banned poppy seed bagels despite the trace opiates that have interfered with workplace drug tests, which hemp foods do not.
Hemp is more nutritious than traditional staples because of high concentrations of the two essential fatty acids in a perfect ratio of the omega-3 & omega-6 acids and because it's rich in Vitamin E and protein. Dozens of hemp food manufacturers who produce a broad range of safe, nutritious foods such as pretzels, chips, energy bars, waffles, salad dressing, cereal and ice cream are challenging DEA rules published in the Federal Register on Oct. 9, 2001. The interpretive rule, effective immediately, was developed without any public notice or comment period and is currently being challenged in federal court.
The DEA's new rules will cause substantial harm to hemp businesses and consumers alike and are not based on any real threat or abuse potential. "The amount of THC in hemp foods is less than an olive pit in a railroad car," says John Roulac, President of Nutiva (http://www.nutiva.com). "The five-year-old U.S. hemp food industry is roughly the size of the soy food industry 30 years ago. Today, soy is used in countless food products and is a multi-billion-dollar crop. The DEA rules are not based in science, will result in job losses and will stifle this growing industry," says Roulac.
Like poppy seed, hemp seed is clearly exempted from the Controlled Substances Act by Congress. 21 U.S.C. 802(16), (19) and (20). The hemp industry is currently pursuing legal action, but enforcement of the rule by the DEA could at any time result in criminal prosecution. To learn more about hemp foods and how they do not trigger false positive confirmation drug tests visit http://www.testpledge.com.
For more information or to arrange interviews with representatives of the hemp industry, call Adam Eidinger at 202-986-6186 or 202-744-2671 (cell).