NIHC Creates Program to Strengthen Testing Standards, Labels for CBD
The National Industrial Hemp Council (NIHC) plans to roll out a pilot program establishing standards for product testing protocols and laboratories. Participants in the program will be able to label products with the NIHC label of approval, ensuring the accuracy of product labeling that will set standards for ingredients, ensure the accuracy of labeling and ultimately, strengthen consumer confidence in the cannabidiol (CBD) products that they’re buying.
The announcement, made during the standards panel discussion at the 2021 Hemp Business Summit, comes one day before NIHC will hear directly from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Cannabis Product Committee Chair, Grail Sipes.
“We’re excited for this program that we believe is going to strengthen consumer confidence, promote accuracy in labeling and ultimately, protect the brand of hemp,” said Patrick Atagi, president and CEO of the National Industrial Hemp Council. “Since the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, consumers have been waiting for the FDA to act on CBD. Without any guidance from the FDA thus far, NIHC is stepping up to develop our own testing standards and labeling protocols that we believe will enhance consumer safety and protect the consumer’s right to know.”
NIHC believes in establishing an accurate, consistent testing regime. This label will bring value to the marketplace and integrity to products sold nationwide in stores and online. NIHC is exploring testing standards and third-party verification laboratory requirements that will be applicable when testing for potency, pesticides, metals, terpenes, and other product attributes. A critical part of the program will include using third-party accreditation bodies to verify that laboratories are following the appropriate testing protocols and properly calibrating their equipment, and that those running the tests are properly trained.
“As one of North America’s leading food and consumer product testing companies, FSNS is pleased to lead this effort,” said Barry Carpenter, NIHC Board member, NIHC Standards Committee Chair, and senior advisor for Regulatory Affairs and Client Relations for Food Safety Net Services (FSNS). “This initiative will bring value to the marketplace and peace of mind to the consumer with reliable and transparent information about CBD products.”
NIHC is looking to partner and explore these standards with the world’s leading standards bodies, hoping to make a pilot program for CBD companies and labs available for enrollment.
With NIHC developing its own standards and label, consumers looking to buy CBD products, at either brick-and-mortar retail stores or online, will have an opportunity to look for an NIHC label that ensures products that they’re considering purchasing meet the most stringent safety protocols in the hemp industry.