UK Food Standards Agency relaxes the rules slightly on novel food submissions

Submitting an application to the UK Food Standards Agency (FSA) will allow edible CBD products to stay on the market after 1st April, under a new revision of the rules for novel food applications in the UK.

Previously, submitted novel food applications had to also be validated by the FSA in order for a CBD-containing product to remain on the market beyond the 1st April deadline. But the FSA has announced that this has changed due to the large number of applications it has received.

Products will be allowed to remain on the market if they were already on sale at the time of the FSA’s original announcement (13th February 2020), a novel food application is submitted before 31st March 2021, and that application is eventually validated by the FSA.

FSA chief executive Emily Miles (pictured) said: “Applying for novel food authorisation is the only way CBD products can remain on sale here. For the past year, we’ve been encouraging all businesses to submit good quality applications as a matter of urgency.

“However, we have received a large number of applications close to the deadline. This means that, in order to process these properly, we are adapting the criteria of products allowed to remain on sale from 1st April.”


One application validated so far


The FSA said applications are subject to an eight-day administrative check, and it can then take up to 30 working days for an application to be validated. These validated applications will then continue through an authorisation process, including checks on safety, to determine whether products can be authorised for sale.

However, the only confirmed validation of an application so far was on one submitted on 1st January 2021.

Irish company Chanelle McCoy Health is claiming to have the first CBD novel food application to be validated by the FSA. It told CBD-Intel that it submitted its UK application for its product Pureis Ultra Pure CBD at the earliest possible opportunity – electronically filing it at one minute after midnight on 1st January.

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    “For some time now we’ve been supporting a pragmatic and proportionate approach to CBD regulation. Our commitment to ensuring that consumers know these products are being checked for safety remains firm,” said Miles.

    A list of products linked to validated applications will be published on the FSA’s website in April and regularly updated.


    Validation doesn’t equal authorisation


    The FSA will also publish a list of products associated with applications that have not yet fully met the legal requirements to be validated but have set out sufficiently robust plans to prove they are fully committed to delivering the outstanding information required. This will include evidence of plans to complete the risk assessment process, with a clear deadline for submission of the outstanding information.

    The FSA stressed that validation is not the same as authorisation, and there is no guarantee that a validated application will eventually be authorised – each application must follow the comprehensive risk analysis process.

    Meanwhile, there is currently no deadline for novel food application submissions in Scotland.

    A spokesperson for Food Standards Scotland (FSS) told CBD-Intel: “We urge businesses with products already on the market to lodge an application for authorisation of a novel food without undue delay.”

    The official stressed that all businesses intending to sell CBD food should not place their products on the market until they have applied for and received authorisation from the FSS and the FSA, as part of the GB Application Service.

    Lorraine Mullaney CBD-Intel staff

    Photo: Food Standards Agency

    Author default picture

    Lorraine Mullaney

    Senior writer
    Lorraine is responsible for writing news analysis and assisting with copy-editing. Lorraine is a copywriter and editor who has written and edited words for a wide range of audiences, from local community newspapers to consumer magazines and trade websites.