The National Animal Supplement Council contends that the ban could do more harm than good.
[Update on a previous blog post about Idaho’s new law prohibiting the sale of CBD/hemp products to pets]
According to a new report, the National Animal Supplement Council (NASC) is urging officials in Idaho to consider delaying the implementation of a law banning the sale of foods containing hemp or hemp derivatives for animals.
The ban, which the state’s Department of Agriculture announced in July, goes into effect Nov. 1st and applies to CBD and other hemp-derived products meant for domestic pets and farm animals.
Many pet owners use CBD oil to help treat dogs and cats suffering from seizures and other urgent medical conditions. However, until the FDA conducts more tests to validate the treatments as scientifically safe and sound, the health benefits remain largely anecdotal and unsubstantiated. As a result, the sale and use of these products are still left to the regulatory discretion of individual states.
Officials from the NASC contend that the prohibition will only serve to potentially further harm animals. CBD products require certificates of analysis and must be vetted under a regulatory program. Because of the ban, NASC members believe pet owners and farmers will continue to give CBD and hemp derivative products to their animals regardless of regulatory intentions. Thus, exposing them to even more dangerous health hazards.
In a petition launched on change.org by the NASC, the Council explains, “Removing CBD pet products from the marketplace paves the way for a black-market industry of unscrupulous suppliers selling questionable products that could end up harming animals. It may also lead to pet owners turning to human products that aren’t formulated for pets or marijuana products that contain high levels of THC.” To date, close to 3,000 people have signed the initiative.
"Removing CBD pet products from the marketplace paves the way for a black-market industry of unscrupulous suppliers selling questionable products that could end up harming animals. It may also lead to pet owners turning to human products that aren’t formulated for pets or marijuana products that contain high levels of THC.”
- National Animal Supplement Council (NASC) Petition
The petition calls for Idaho to postpone enforcement actions until the state’s next legislative session beginning in 2023. The NASC argues that the delay would provide legislators adequate time to construct a bill allowing for “the responsible sale of these valuable products for all our companion animals.”
The 2021 law establishing the state’s hemp program does not allow the plant’s derivatives to be in animal feed or pet foods and treats, which aligns with the U.S. Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. The law states that “products intended to treat a disease or which have a therapeutic or medical application, or any non-food product that affects the structure or function of the human or animal body, is considered a drug.”
The Idaho Veterinary Medical Association has refused to take a position on the emotionally-charged issue causing animal owners significant anxiety. Many feel their pets and farm animals have benefitted dramatically from hemp-derived CBD oil and food products. However, if the ban is allowed to go into effect on Nov. 1st, they worry the withdrawal could be devastating to the health of their beloved “fur family members.”
The explosion of items for animals containing hemp has prompted members of the U.S. animal feed industry, regulators and animal health officials to advocate for additional research on hemp products to assist in developing uniform rules. Earlier this year, several organizations headed by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) penned a joint open letter focusing on the health concerns surrounding hemp in animal feeds and pet food and the potential threats to the human food chain from animals ingesting unproven products.
Moreover, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has echoed similar sentiments that due to the lack of research, any curative claims concerning the use of CBD in animals are unproven. The agency further warned animal owners against bypassing proper veterinary care by administering the compounds themselves.
The issue is highly charged, with many viewing their relationships with their animals as important, if not more so, than those with humans. In addition, the capricious and uncompromising manner in which officials in Idaho have decided to address the use of hemp and hemp-derived food products for animals further highlights the growing divide between the wants and needs of the people and the approach taken by government officials.
Banning a plant and its potential benefits without adequate and appropriate scientific study and research is illogical and baffling. Billions are spent each year testing any measure of chemically produced drugs from the Pharmaceutical industry, with the FDA routinely approving those products, only to find years later that they were, in fact, dangerous and deadly.
Hemp and its derivatives, much like its sister, the marijuana plant, are just that - PLANTS. Advocates for using CBD oil, hemp foods and its derivatives for animals are simply asking for scientific research to be applied equally and fairly. The consequences are too significant, especially when it comes to our pets and beloved fur babies.