11 Nov 2012

Hemp seed foods a step closer

5:55 am on 11 November 2012

The prospect of hemp seed foods being sold in New Zealand has become more likely with a recommendation by Food Standards Australia New Zealand to allow it.

Hemp oil is already approved but so far the seeds, which can be used in products like cereals and muesli bars, have not been.

Cannabis Sativa contains fatty acids including the Omega 3 oil, alpha-linolenic acid, which is beneficial to human health.

FSANZ says there are no public health concerns with hemp foods, they do not produce any psychotropic effects and cannot be used as a source of THC - the active ingredient in marijauna.

It has recommended that any seeds sold as food are hulled and unviable, so they could not be grown.

Hemp Farm New Zealand chief executive David Jordan says a large number of countries, including America and Canada, permit the sale of foods that contain hemp seeds.

He says the seeds his company grows have below 0.01% THC, compared to 15% - 30% percent in marijuana.

The recommendations will go to New Zealand and Australian ministers of food safety for their approval by 7 December.