The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) has issued guidelines on the 2018 Farm Bill and its removal of hemp from the list of controlled substances. “As of April 2019, hemp and hemp products may not be used in animal feed or pet food in the United States,” the guidelines state.

“In 2015 AAFCO asked the hemp industry to come forward and present information for the scientific review to establish definitions for animal foods made from the industrial hemp plant. We expected information on hemp seed oil, hemp seed meal, and whole hemp seeds. Although there are private companies and organizations working on applications, to date, the industry has not submitted any data showing that ingredients derived from the hemp plant are safe and useful in animal food. AAFCO is encouraging the industry to submit their data promptly.”

The guidelines also advise that feed with cannabidiol (CBD) is not approved. “[P]arts of the hemp plant will not be appropriate for approval as an animal feed ingredient. As such, products that contain CBD as a feed ingredient could be labeled adulterated or misbranded and be subject to regulatory actions by state agencies.”

“Aside from CBD, there are parts of the plant, such as hemp seeds, that have the potential to be approved for animal feed,” the guidelines conclude. “AAFCO continues to encourage interested parties to work on submitting a proper application either through the AAFCO or the [U.S. Food and Drug Administration] review process.”

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For decades, manufacturers, distributors and retailers at every link in the food chain have come to Shook, Hardy & Bacon to partner with a legal team that understands the issues they face in today's evolving food production industry. Shook attorneys work with some of the world's largest food, beverage and agribusiness companies to establish preventative measures, conduct internal audits, develop public relations strategies, and advance tort reform initiatives.