Hemp-Food Makers Fight U.S. Ban 

Hemp-Food Makers Fight U.S. Ban 
Posted by FoM on January 12, 2002 at 21:26:26 PT
By Caroline E. Mayer, WP Staff Writer
Source: Washington Post
Healthy Hemp Sprouted Bread. Hemp Plus Granola. Hempzel Pretzels. Hempseed Energy Bars. Hemp Chips. Hempsi Hempmylk. Those products, now beginning to appear on store shelves, contain what is being promoted as the latest nutritional wonder – one rich in protein, vitamin E and two essential fatty acids.But federal drug officials have a radically different view of the hemp seeds and hemp oil that are being added to ice cream, candy, salad oil, waffles and beer. To the Drug Enforcement Administration, hemp and marijuana come from the same plant, so one is as illegal as the other.
Food manufacturers say their products contain little, if any, of the hallucinogen found in marijuana – certainly no more than the amount of opiate found in a poppy-seed bagel. Nonetheless, the DEA has ordered any food containing hemp off store shelves by early next month. Soaps, cosmetics and clothes made with hemp may still be sold unless and until there is evidence that the hemp in such products can be absorbed by the body.The DEA's order, issued Oct. 9, is the latest twist in an ongoing battle between drug-control advocates and a growing number of farmers, entrepreneurs and drug-reform advocates such as "Cheers" actor Woody Harrelson who want to legalize industrial hemp.The amount of food products containing hemp is small, accounting for only about $5 million in sales a year, with most products sold in health-food stores. Locally, hemp products can be found at Fresh Fields/Whole Foods, Yes Organic Market, My Organic Market and Takoma Park/Silver Spring Food Co-op.Hemp-food makers note that soy foods, considered a fringe food for health enthusiasts only a few years ago, have become mainstream, sold in widely different forms such as soy milk and tofu turkey. In 2001, sales of soy food products totaled more than $3.3 billion, according to the Maine consulting firm Soyatech.It is no wonder then, that the hemp industry is fighting the DEA order, which takes effect Feb. 6.The Hemp Industries Association, which represents product manufacturers and Canadian exporters of hemp seed, has asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to issue a stay pending a ruling on its petition to overturn the DEA's order. A decision on the stay is expected any day.Meanwhile, the largest exporter of hemp seed to the United States (it is illegal to grow industrial hemp in most of this country), Kenex Ltd. of Canada, is to notify Washington tomorrow that it intends, under the North America Free Trade Agreement, to seek compensation of at least $20 million as a result of the DEA's action."The level of THC [tetrahydrocannabinol, the hallucinogenic substance found in marijuana] in hemp seeds is minuscule," said John W. Roulac, founder and president of Nutiva, whose California company sells hemp bars, chips and cans of shelled hemp seeds.Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.), said the DEA's decision "is the kind of thing that undermines the credibility of the so-called war on drugs. There is no basis for the complete prohibition. The amount of THC in these food products are so infinitesimally small – are addicts are going to carry around barrels of pretzels? . . . This is from the same administration that says it's okay to have more arsenic in water than it is to have hemp in cereal."DEA officials say the issue is simple: The ban is required by law. "Many Americans do not know that hemp and marijuana are both parts of the same plant and that hemp cannot be produced without producing marijuana," DEA Administrator Asa Hutchinson said in a statement announcing the ban.Under the 1970 Controlled Substances Act, the DEA said, it has no choice but to ban food with hemp seed.In that law Congress "expressly stated . . . that 'any material, compound, mixture, or preparation which contains any quantity of THC' is a . . . controlled substance" that is illegal, according to the Federal Register notice announcing the ban.Will Glaspy, a DEA spokesman, said that although poppy seeds may contain trace amounts of opiates, they are allowed in food because Congress specifically exempted them from substance-abuse laws.Glaspy said the DEA had been considering the issue for about a year before the announcement. "The fact of the matter is we are here to enforce the laws of the U.S. Yes, there are other matters going on in the rest of the world, but the American public expects us to continue our duties," he said.The Family Research Council, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to promote and protect marriage and family, pushed for the ban. In a paper written in December 2000, the council's vice president of policy, Robert L. Maginnis, said "hemp has become a stalking horse for the drug legalization movement."Maginnis contends that hemp-food products can produce a false positive on drug tests, which the hemp-food industry disputes. Even so, both sides acknowledge that some Americans have been able to successfully fight some positive drug tests by saying they had eaten hemp products.At issue in the dispute over hemp foods is the difference between marijuana and industrial hemp. According to the DEA, "hemp and marijuana are actually separate parts of the species of plant known as the cannabis. . . . The marijuana portions of the cannabis plant include the flowering tops (buds), the leaves and the resin of the cannabis plant. The remainder of the plant – stalks and sterilized seeds – is what some people refer to as hemp."The Family Research Council and industry officials agree there is a key difference. Industrial hemp generally has less than 1 percent THC, while marijuana plants can have as much as 30 percent."The difference between the two plants is like the difference between field corn and sweet corn – it's the same species but different varieties," said David Bronner, chairman of the hemp industry association's food and oil committee.Over the past few years, hemp products have become increasingly popular, with its annual sales now about $25 million. Clothing and body products such as soap and cosmetics account for most of the sales.Food is becoming the fastest-growing segment, as Roulac's sales show: In 1999 his company sold $211,000 of hemp-food products. Last year, sales surpassed $445,000. Meanwhile, sales of Hemp Plus Granola, made by Nature's Path, has grown by more than 30 percent a year.Sales have been spurred by the discovery – and promotion – of hemp's nutritional value. The packaging on Healthy Hemp Sprouted Bread claims, "This amazing shelled hemp seed is one of the most nutritious plant foods available with a rich source of protein, dietary fiber, minerals, vitamin E, iron and a near-perfect composition of the essential fatty acids, Omega 3 and 6."Cynthia Sass, a registered dietitian at the University of South Florida and a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association, said hemp seed has some "positive nutritional values; it's a good source of essential fatty acids that we can't produce ourselves and need to consume. It's also high in protein." However, she noted, there are other ways to obtain the same nutrients – fish and flax seed for the fatty acids and soybeans for the protein.As a result of the DEA's announcement, Harrelson said his plans to bring a hemp-milk product to market has been interrupted. "Why proceed when we think we're going to be thrown in jail?" he said in a telephone interview.Harrelson and other hemp proponents note that this is not the first time the DEA has tried to block the sale of hemp products. In August 1999, U.S. Customs officials, on the advice of the DEA, seized a shipment of hemp birdseed from Canada because it contained traces of THC. The shipment was released two months later.As a result, makers of nonfood hemp products are worried about what the DEA might do next. That is one reason why Bronner is leading the fight against the food ban – even though his company, Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps, does not make a food product.The DEA did not rule out that possibility in its Federal Register notice: "DEA will assume (unless and until it receives evidence to the contrary) that most personal care products do not cause THC to enter the human body and therefore are exempted."Source: Washington Post (DC)Author: Caroline E. Mayer, Washington Post Staff WriterPublished: Sunday, January 13, 2002; Page A01 Copyright: 2002 The Washington Post Company Contact: letterstoed washpost.comWebsite: Related Articles & Web Site:FTE's Hemp Links Ban Spurs High-Spirited Debate Industry vs. The DEA in U.S. Court
Home Comment Email Register Recent Comments Help

Comment #10 posted by BOFH420 on January 14, 2002 at 08:46:19 PT:
Exerpt from the Controlled Substances Act
TITLE 21. FOOD AND DRUGSCHAPTER 13. DRUG ABUSE PREVENTION AND CONTROLCONTROL AND ENFORCEMENTSection 802. Definitions(16) The term "marihuana" means all parts of the plant Cannabis sativa L., whether growing or not; the seeds thereof; the resin extracted from any part of such plant; and every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of such plant, its seeds or resin. Such term does not include the mature stalks of such plant, fiber produced from such stalks, oil or cake made from the seeds of such plant, any other compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of such mature stalks (except the resin extracted therefrom), fiber, oil, or cake, or the sterilized seed of such plant which is incapable of germination.
Controlled Substances Act
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #9 posted by CorvallisEric on January 13, 2002 at 14:31:19 PT
You're right, the west is the best. Took me half a lifetime to realize. Every western state except Hawaii and New Mexico has the initiative process which gave us most of the breaks in the WOSD. Those 2 exceptions also did their part.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #8 posted by E_Johnson on January 13, 2002 at 12:53:40 PT
Please EVERYONE write the Post and tell them
THC is not a hallucinogen.This reporters states that it is, as if this were some simple matter of fact.But it is not a simple matter of fact. It is not fact, and the Post NEEDS to be made to retract this.They can't make up their own rules for describing the physical world. They can't say that oxygen is an inert gas or that the sky is orange or the Sun is a galaxy.And they shouldn't be allowed to say that THC is a hallucinogen.I have been using THC for five years and I have not had one single hallucination. Not one. Not even a tiny little itty bitty one.It's about as hallucinogenic as Darjeeling tea.Why oh why do journalists today have to be convinced that there is some merit to checking facts as opposed to just making them up?Why are college graduates so convinced now that there is no physical material reality? This is sick. Some things are true and some things are not true, and it is not true that THC is a hallucinogen.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #7 posted by greenfox on January 13, 2002 at 08:57:37 PT
Hemp industry vs. nylon industry
And it goes on and on and on
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #6 posted by goneposthole on January 13, 2002 at 08:33:23 PT
I guess if I were to ban any one thing so someone cannot use it, it would be television.Television abuses electricity. Millions of viewers sitting down and watching a screen to merely entertain themselves. They could be out doing something useful to help mankind like sweeping streets. What a complete waste of time and money, this televsion stuffFor that matter ban electricity. All that time invested in building power plants so everyone can see at night. What a waste electricity generation is. All that coal and oil going up in smoke. Everybody can just migrate to warmer climes. Let the night be dark. The uselessness of electricity cannot be
overstated. Whoever discovered electricity must have been out flying a kite or some other stupid activity. We need some positive direction here, not this willy nilly stuff.There is no gravity, the earth sucks. Ban it. Ban everything.Ban your horse. Too much horse manure.Ban your cow. Too much cow manure.Ban your goat. He ate my hemp crop. Don't ban the western skies, though. They can't be beat. The west is the best.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #5 posted by JR Bob Dobbs on January 13, 2002 at 08:28:28 PT
>>To the Drug Enforcement Administration, hemp and marijuana come from the same plant, so one is as illegal as the other.  Does this mean that you should have to be 21 to buy potatos and corn, since you can make alcohol out of them?
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #4 posted by The GCW on January 13, 2002 at 06:12:42 PT
Agriculturally, Biblically, medically...
the prohibition of cannabis and hemp was the crime of the century. Hemp seed oil, also, contains gamma linolenic acid, (GLA), responsible for a strong immune system and only available in 5 places on earth. They include borage, primrose oil, black current seed oil, mothers milk and hemp seed oil. I have eaten hemp seed oil in my salads for 3 years for its benefits, to ward off cancers. Even then, hemp seed oil gives less than 3% of our minimum daily requirements. This is relevant, since America, never before completely banned a grain crop, and we have the planets highest cancer rates. If you were not nursed as a baby, you probably haven’t consumed any GLA.There are 2 conflicting policies pertaining to cannabis: one is man's, caging humans for using cannabis, and the other is Christ God's saying cannabis is a blessing. Accept cannabis ( also known as kaneh bosm, before the King James Version), for what it is as described on the very 1st page (like Deja vu) of the Bible (Gen. 1:11-12 & 29-30). Christ God gave us cannabis and put cannabinoid (THC) receptor sites in our brains: who prohibits man from making that connection?  Hint: check 1 Timothy 4:1-5. Reform would bring better odds at protecting my kids than what The Family Research Council, policies have delivered! The Family Research Council support, perpetuating discredited prohibition policies, compromises and sullies their cloak.The Green Collar Worker
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #3 posted by xxdr_zombiexx on January 13, 2002 at 05:45:12 PT
the fascisct research council
Hey folks! Long time, no type....I just read this story on MSNBC, and was, of course, outtraged.The FRC is one of those "private" "think tank" things that is very much a propaganda mill for prohibition and all right-wing extremist values.Please check out the movie "GRASS" - its available on now... Its awesome in that it fully shows, from the early 1900's that cannabis prohibition is the work of a few federal folks bouyed by right-wing puritans who specifically live to cram their values down our throats.We all know the deal: DEA wants to eliminate any positive reflection on the evil weed; wants to protect the billion-do;;ar marijuana-testing industry, and maintain a federal chokehold on states rights. The FRC just wants to make any person who doesn't suck up to their morality go to jail.They all suck.And by the way, the entire Bush Administration is criminal.FREEDOM ENDURES
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #2 posted by CorvallisEric on January 13, 2002 at 00:57:53 PT
Family Research Council is big business
The Family Research Council, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to promote and protect marriage and family, pushed for the ban. In a paper written in December 2000, the council's vice president of policy, Robert L. Maginnis, said "hemp has become a stalking horse for the drug legalization movement."
From their website home page:
Lt. Col. Robert Maginnis, FRC’s resident expert on the war against drugs, is heading into battle in New Mexico next week, where NM Gov. Gary Johnson is expected to push the state legislature to legalize marijuana as it gears up for its new session.
Check out Rambler's link for more.
The following information comes from IRS Form 990 which is apparantly public record except for contributors' names. These are all available free online at:
Enter part or all of the name in Quick Search. Eventually you get to the PDF files of Form 990 for several years. The lower level links are too long to post here. If you are interested in any of this crap, PLEASE DO NOT QUOTE ME; I am not an accountant and barely understand the forms. My apologies if there are any errors.
FRC income and expenses have each been between $10 million and $15 million per year for at least the last 5 years. Their executive VP made over $177K and their 5 highest paid employees each made over $100K (salaries and benefits) the latest year available. There is only space for 5 on the form. They apparantly did not receive any government grants (at least the last 4 years). They received large individual contributions.
Another example: National Families in Action - which deals only with drug issues, heavily pushing prohibition - received over $1.58 million in government grants during the last 4 years. This makes up almost 90 percent of its total funding. Notice that Emory Univ. hosts their website (judging from the link).
This is intended as a pointer to verifiable facts for anyone who wants to refute the private-sector, non-profit antis' whining about their financial status. There are probably more good examples; these are the only ones I looked up.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #1 posted by Rambler on January 12, 2002 at 22:43:32 PT
The Family Research Council
Take a look.
[ Post Comment ]

Post Comment