The National Industrial Hemp Council of America yesterday sent separate letters to the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) and U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Veterinary Medicine (FDA-CVM) making the case that sufficient research currently exists to include hemp as a safe ingredient in U.S. agriculture’s animal feed supply chain and proposing a webinar with regulators to discuss removing barriers for using hemp as animal feed.

Recently, a coalition of animal feed and nutrition groups and veterinarians led by AAFCO asked states to stop passing laws allowing hemp in animal feed without ample scientific research to support its use. Additionally, FDA-CVM has requested that only studies using American grown and American processed hemp be included. This parameter negates decades of safety research that has been conducted.

“We believe that there is a clear solution and path forward to the approval of hemp feed through the utilization of existing research and the establishment of appropriate agency barriers,” said Hunter Buffington, a member of NIHC’s Government Affairs Committee. “It is incredibly disappointing that some choose to create confusion over feed ingredients versus animal supplements at the expense of American ranchers and farmers who need a safe, affordable and nutritious supply of animal feed that hempseed provides.”

NIHC offered five clarifications and solutions for allowing hemp-based animal feed to gain federal approval.

Hemp seed is not used to produce cannabinoids and should not be connected to the regulatory standards of CBD.
FDA-CVM should establish reasonable and repeatable action limits for cannabinoids in seed products.
FDA-CVM should prioritize AAFCO ingredient approvals and create an expedited process for feed ingredients that relies on already existing research, even if conducted outside of the U.S. or before the 2014 Farm bill allowed hemp to be cultivated for research in the U.S.
Regulatory agencies should work together to identify ways to expedite validation and approval of already developed analytical methods to quantify cannabinoids in seed and seed by-products for feed ingredients and to test the transference of cannabinoids into animal by-products intended for human consumption.
The hemp industry, led by the NIHC, requests to host a webinar with the regulatory agencies, USDA, AAFCO, and FDA-CVM, where researchers can provide education on safety and cannabinoid transference address gaps in method validation, and discuss pathways to expedite approval of hemp as animal feed.

“At a time when the global supply chain has been so severely disrupted, hemp as a commodity can be an answer,” concluded Buffington. “There is no reason homegrown hemp can’t support the American livestock industry.”

You may download the letter to AAFCO here.  The same letter was sent separately to FDA-CVM.

About NIHC
The National Industrial Hemp Council of America provides high-quality networking and resources for its members, from farm to consumer. Its leadership is composed of leading international, federal, state, private industry, and government professionals throughout the sector. The organization is dedicated to furthering market development, assisting members in entering the industry, and educating consumers on industrial hemp and its applications. For more information, please go to


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