Reaction to the EFSA Statement on Safety of Cannabidiol has been Mixed
Reaction to the EFSA statement on safety of cannabidiol has been mixed. Some claiming it as an opportunity, others citing calamity and the usual suspects claiming to have foreseen it – no-one foresaw this. What is interesting is an examination of the relationship between the EFSA and the UK FSA and recent events post-Brexit may shed light on the reason for such a heavy-handed publication.
Pre-withdrawal from the EU the UK FSA were an integral part of European Food Safety Regulation, were policy drivers and often the leading authors or at the very least the check and balance for the system’s output. Post-Brexit the UK FSA have driven the England and Wales approach (Northern Ireland have been cast away to follow the EU position and Scotland are pursuing a separate course entirely), which has been seen by many in the EU as unacceptable. The EU Commission, the EMA and the EFSA cannot be seen to be allowing GB to be driving the policy on CBD as they must consider the voices of 27 countries.
The FSA upset many on the Continent when it first provided the 70mg (or 1mg per kg) limit on CBD. The EFSA had not declared such a limit. It further enraged the elite when Emily Miles stated in early May that, “There is little evidence of significant harm.” Another statement not supported by the EFSA.
There is brinkmanship at play here. The EFSA statement is without doubt an EMA-driven statement which seeks to take back control and reposition itself in the driving seat.
The Gaps now presented (highlighted in our paper here) are not scientifically justified and the EFSA will not insist on human trials. Those who claim to be “in the know” have missed the point here – the UK FSA are now sitting on an “enviable” amount of data that the EFSA do not have sight of and that irks.
EFSA will be able to step back (quietly) from the majority of its “sledgehammer to crack a walnut” demands for data by setting its own lower daily limit for CBD consumption. It will, we believe, set that at around 40-50mg and by doing so forego the need for the data on many of its newly stated “gaps”. EFSA will then portray the impression of having wrestled back control and put the UK FSA “back in its box”.