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AAFCO Issues Updated Guidelines Regarding Hemp in Animal Food

On May 1, 2019, AAFCO provided updated guidelines regarding the use of hemp in animal food, including how this market is affected by the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018 (the “Farm Bill”). Although the AAFCO is not a government agency, its members are government agencies that represent the 50 states, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Center for Veterinary Medicine, and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. 

In the guidelines, AAFCO maintains that hemp and hemp products currently may not be used in ed in the United States. Although the Farm Bill removed hemp from the list of controlled substances, it did not authorize the use of hemp as an ingredient in animal feed.  In order for hemp to be used as an ingredient in animal feed, it will still need to go through same FDA review process as any other potential ingredient. AAFCO does not view CBD-infused products as eligible for this process, due to discussions with FDA which indicate that such products would be categorized as drugs, rather than food.

In 2015, AAFCO previously asked the hemp industry to present data showing that ingredients derived from the hemp plant (such as hemp seed oil, hemp seed meal, and whole hemps seeds) are safe and useful in animal food. However, AAFCO has not yet received any such data from industry. AAFCO concludes these guidelines with a renewed call for interested parties to work on submitting an application through the AAFCO or FDA review process.

Copyright © 2020, Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP.National Law Review, Volume IX, Number 128


About this Author

Allison Fulton DC SheppardMullin Shareholder Life Sciences FDA

Allison Fulton is a partner in the Life Sciences and FDA team and is based in the firm's Washington, D.C. office. Allison advises life sciences companies, including pharmaceutical, medical device, dietary supplement, food and cosmetic companies, in matters relating to the development, manufacture, and marketing of products regulated by the U.S. FDA.

Areas of Practice

Allison’s areas of focus include assisting U.S. and international companies comply with current Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) and the Quality System Regulation (QSR). She regularly advises...