Exposing the lies!
Updated: Jul 5, 2022
Is consumer safety taking a backseat to Questionable Actions, Politics and Big Pharma?
Sharks in a pond - Novel Foods, anyone? Right now, I see all the minnows are 'awaiting evidence' for their Novel Foods applications to proceed, whilst on the other side of the pond, the shark has brought some more of it's mates to the feast, but more on that later!
We've got some updates to get through: Alison Hernandez, Plymouth Live, The ACI, the Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Authority (MHRA) and the TIGRR report, and consumer safety, but first...
Let's start with Novel Foods
Over 6000 products were added to the FSA's public list on 30/06/2022, bringing the grand total to just under 12,000 products.
Let's stop there for a second, and look at this logically. It took one day shy of a year to get just over 3,000 products listed, then there were a couple more 'minor' updates that pushed that to over 5,000 until BOOOOM...an extra 6,000 were added in one hit!
Now I know the companies who've finally been placed on that list won't be grumbling, and neither will those who're looking forward to Novel Foods moving on, but I find it curious that the Food Standards Agency (FSA) could beef up their operation in the space of a couple of months to do a 6,000 SKU drop like that, after it'd taken them 15 months to list 5000 products.
My condolences to those who are STILL not on that list despite submitting applications, I don't know how many products there are still to go up, but I am aware of one company of decent size and stature who is still waiting .
I certainly won't be naming any, you know, just in case...
The ACI, when spotting a company with unlisted products.
Then comes the big question
Were there just shy of 12,000 oral CBD products available on shelves in the UK before 13/02/2020?
Well I feel that I'm probably one of the most appropriately qualified persons in the UK to be able to answer that question, and I don't think there were!
If any of you reading this are one of those who have submitted questionable data for your applications, count yourself lucky you haven't been validated. If you were, I'd be looking into your business affairs and questioning your place on the list!
The reason for that is as it stands, 0.69% of that list is populated by validated products, some of which certainly weren't on the market before 13/02/2020. So as far as I'm concerned, the issues and concerns I've raised from here are on behalf of the 99.31% of that list who're caught in limbo (to me and you, that's those who're 'awaiting evidence').
Onto the announcements that accompanied the 6k SKU drop
Nothing is ever simple in life, and that is typified by the statement and correspondence that surrounding the FSA's latest update.
On one hand, we have the FSA public statement in regards to the list update:
The list is now closed and further requests to have products put on the public list or evidence sent are no longer being accepted
Ok, that looks pretty final, almost like 'The door is closed!', but what about those companies who're still awaiting evidence?
Hold on to that thought, Paul Tossall said something to the contrary!
Yep, as clear as mud!
Or maybe not, maybe it meant to read "Some Big Pharma types are going to be along soon, but don't worry about it, we'll get round to you when we can!". That's one way to look at it, so let's scan through some of the ones we've got in already... sorry, I mean 'validated companies'.
One of those big rules of Novel Foods was that companies had products on sale before 13/02/2020. If you did, you were invited to the CBD industry amnesty, and could continue to sell your products after 31/03/2021 as long as you had submitted a Novel Foods Application.
If you didn't have products on sale before this point, the advice was to stop selling and go through the Novel Foods process as is written, which basically means that you wouldn't be able to sell those products until it was fully authorised by the FSA.
So what's this to the left? It looks suspiciously like a validated company who didn't have products on sale before 13/02/2020, in fact, they seem to have launch 15 days past that key deadline date 🧐
Don't get me wrong, Claudia Winkleman's fringe has as much right as anyone to represent CBD products, but surely that endorsement doesn't come with a green light to circumvent FSA rules, right?
I jest of course, and recognise that Claudia or her fringe have no decision making capacity for the direction of Cannaray... I think.
But you can't deny what is in the public domain...
Unless you're Paul Tossall and the Novel Foods team, that is. I know that the screen-shot above has been presented to Paul, who rejected it, so with that in mind, let's bring some more proof to the table, so that all us minnows in the hemp and CBD pond can see the big fish being introduced who're trying to take a large slice of the pie!
Again, what you're seeing on the right is information that's in the public domain, an industry article, released after Brains Bioceuticals was validated, clearly stating that their products are yet to be launched.
This is one of the files I directed Paul Tossall to, this would be the 3rd time now but his reply so far had me both confused and concerned, especially as I had already provided him exactly what he was asking for.
"If you can provide proof that any company has falsified the evidence we have used to make our decisions on the public list we would welcome it. Deliberate misleading us would be treated very seriously"
Getting that type of response when acceptable evidence has been submitted says to me that 'someone' is unwilling to accept that evidence of wrongdoing, which raises its own suspicions!
Let's speed this up a bit
Looking into Cannaray opens up a whole 'canna' worms, especially when you look into who's supplying them, which is a company called Geocann.
The following information hasn't been submitted to the FSA to my knowledge, but if I can find it, so can they.
So, that leaves a big question mark over Geocanna and their place on the list, and that's before we even look into the patented technology they're using in some of their products, which in itself opens up a different Novel Question.
Now before I touch base on my favourite validated company
I've a question for you, what do you think all the validated companies have in common? Access to facilities that are MHRA approved!
This is very important to know, because I believe a destination point has been established, by The TIGRR report, and that's the reason why companies that have access to MHRA approved facilities and processes have been validated so far.
Change 'darkness' for 'MHRA'
The MHRA have 'disappeared' recently, or at least they have when it comes to CBD. No doubt either busy with Covid Vaccines at the moment, or just keeping out of a discussion they think they've already won. But they will be back, and The TIGRR report shows that intent where they are mentioned 35 time!
It's all about medicinal CBD and Cannabinoid products with this report, so when I see further to this the like of GW coming out and saying the CBD world needs more political direction, I fear for the worst.
But that's only the half
If the MHRA do get control of cannabis, as the report suggests, that verifies the suspicion on why only MHRA approved companies are validated now, and almost suggests that a transfer of power has begun.
The proof in that pudding for me would be in whether I can trace a link back to MHRA approved facilities for the next few companies to get their products validated, and if that happens to be the case, then I believe this industry is destined for the hands of others, unless you fight back of course.
Does that mean all validated companies are now the enemy?
Well, not all of them are playing the same game. There's those who seem to have 'convinced' the FSA that they have obliged every requirement placed on the industry, and then there's those who have done everything properly (ish), but their products, which have been accepted, are running a little 'hot'.
What's the lesser of two evils to you, a company that's validated with false information, or one that has been blatant and open with the information they have provided, even if their products are a tad off being a food, and are more accurately defined as a drug in UK law?
If you're uncertain what a 'hot product' is, it's one that has more controlled cannabinoids in (THC D9, THC D8, CBN) that is ordinarily allowed by the Misuse of Drug Regulation (MoDR) 2001, which then pushed it into the realm of the Misuse of Drugs Act (MoDA) 1971. Section 37 of MoDA is the kicker, and basically translates to 'regardless of THC level, cannabis is illegal'
Admittedly we're still talking minute amounts, but at the same time, this is the business world, and the law IS the law, even if it's questionable...
Tricky one, isn't it? See I believe the boundaries on novel foods are far too restrictive, so if anyone is getting validated with whole plant, full spectrum products, and they have been open with the information supplied for their products that are going through the Novel Foods process, I say fair play to them. They just need to recognise that they're on a different patch, and that the HO are best buddies with GW.
They also need to beware of GW's ownership of controlled cannabinoids, and if you're stepping on their toes, they aren't going to be chuffed with you scuffing up their shoe leather!
That being said, validated products that are hot shows how messed up Novel Foods is. Fake information, open information that shows a drug more than a food, and that's before we even touch on synthetic products!
So back to the others!
If any company feels I've misrepresented them in this article, please do get in touch, and I will set the record straight, but for the best part, that's 5 validated companies that need to be looked into. Either that, or the person at the FSA who signed off their applications needs to have their work evaluated.
And to all the companies who're validated and thinking "thank God he hasn't looked at us!". Don't worry, there will be a follow up article to this, because if the FSA are bending their own rules, The Hemp Hound Agency will not hesitate in conducting a full and thorough investigate. Talking of which...
And now to Pureis!
If you're old like me, you'll remember the "SEEE-GAA" startup from when you've turned a Mega-Drive on. I hear that in my head every time I say hello to this company, "Pure-issss", same tune, everything!
Ask anyone who has grown up with cannabis what their thoughts on synthetic cannabinoids are, and I bet you'll have a few ask you why you've asked, before even entertaining you with an answer.
I mean, why on God's good earth would you be messing, about trying and recreate something, that God has already given us, and is perfectly fine regardless of 'what' 16 lab reports from GW say?!?!
It wouldn't be so bad if it wasn't for the fact that synthetic CBD in most cases comes from reprogrammed Streptococcus and modified yeast, and that's before we get to washing with Thiocyanide!
Nope, my main issue here is that some bright spark at the FSA thinks this type of product doesn't need any safety assessments, even though safety assessments were deemed a necessity for plant derived products.
And as there's no framework for synthetic cannabinoid products in Novel Foods, these products are being passed fit for consumption on the basis of requirements for plant derive, natural cannabinoids. Tell me how that even makes sense, let alone were it's fair, and I'll happily shut up.
It's not just the the nature of the products when it comes to synthetic CBD, it's the simple understanding that a) they have no place in the food supplemental industry, and b) if people are prepared to state that they do, check their bank accounts!
Seriously, let's look at other words that mean 'synthetic': Artificial, bogus, dummy, factitious, fake, false, faux... I could go on, but I think you get the picture. None of that says 'real'!
Is it me, am I the only one to be concerned by cannabinoid facsimiles? There's been zero deaths from plant derived cannabinoids, yet the press have report of deaths from synthetic cannabinoid consumption!
On that basis alone, there needs to be safety assessments on synthetic cannabinoid products that are intended for the food supplemental market, but there's still more to this issue. The current legal standing is that you don't have to distinguish between synthetic and natural cannabinoid products, that's why Pureis has applications for 'ultra pure' CBD, and not 'CBD that is created by the by-product of genetically modified yeast being eaten by genetically modified Streptococcus... and then washed with thiocyanide'.
Yep, something is very wrong with this world!!!
And that's before we get to the fact that this is another company who had zero products available before 13/02/2020. The proof is in the date of the microbial test in that lab report, as well as the date underneath that of the expiry date, which I believe is that of when their their first product was initially available.
Is that it???
Nope, I'm just getting started! See, it's one thing 'lying' to a regulatory authority, but it's another thing when the 'regulatory authority' accepts that lie, even when stating that it's a serious offence to lie to said regulatory authorities!
Here's a bit of a thought though, what if I'm wrong? What if every validated company HAS provided the information the FSA has wanted from them, and they weren't asked to prove they had products available on 13/02/2020? Simply put, that would mean that the FSA has lied to every company who is 'awaiting evidence', and there's actually a two tier system in Novel Foods, which certainly would be grounds for the industry as a whole to take the FSA to task.
Either way, if I can find this information on 6 validated companies within the public domain, and others have provided information to the FSA, as well as myself, in regards to some of these companies, what do YOU think the reason would be for that information to be dismissed?
There's no other word for it, but a subcategory exists:
A business cartel exists when rival businesses agree to act together instead of competing with each other. This kind of arrangement is a form of cheating that’s designed to benefit cartel members while maintaining the illusion of competition.
Cartels can be local, national or international, and specific examples of cartel activity include price fixing, market sharing and bid rigging.
Sound like Novel Foods to you?
Cartel members - FSA, unjustly validated companies... and then there's everyone else (99.31%) who are awaiting evidence
Agree together - remember when the CTA asked for an extension to the Novel Foods deadlines due to Covid, only for the FSA to say they had seen no evidence that the industry as a whole was struggling to complete Novel Foods applications? Did the 0.69% tell them that?
Illusion of competition - if you squint, you'll just about see 'illusion of competition' as 'awaiting evidence'
Market sharing and bid rigging - between the FSA and validated companies, at the expense of those awaiting evidence
Now I'm not saying that every company with validated products are part of this cartel, but there's 6 companies listed in this article who seem to have their place in this industry under questionable circumstances, and the FSA are seemingly protecting some of those companies that have been identified.
On the basis of all the information above, there is a serious question mark over 47.56% of the products that have been validated, and that's before I've had a proper look at the rest! That's horrendous!!!
Moving on to The ACI
They seem happy! That being said, I believe that none of their members have access to MHRA accredited facilities. At least if they did, they should be validated by now!
I could be wrong, but I think their membership are walking into a trap, that The ACI have been placed in this industry to be disruptive from within, and that their ultimate agenda is to hand the CBD industry to Big Pharma.
That's my personal thoughts though, as are these in regards to the ACI recent post in regards to the updated list.
"The ACI would like to congratulate all successful applicants...."
After reading that, the rest turned into a dyslexic swirl of Greta Thunberg's "Blah, blah, blah!"
Seriously, it's like the noticeable workforce they're accumulating at The ACI (despite the lack of financial records to justify their employment), haven't been made aware of the scare tactics of the past. "join us or you won't be trading after key deadlines!!!", yeah, right!🤣
I would love companies who received those emails from The ACI and got on that list without being a £20k+ paying member to email me, so I can make a list to throw back at The ACI with a big "Hi there!!!" 😎
Forgive me for being childish, I wouldn't do that, but I reserve the right to daydream, and certainly for good reason.
The ACI would like to congratulate all successful applicants... I've never smelt words before, but these smell insincere, with a hint of farmyard for good measure.
And that is why I feel the need to give some advice, and ask that you follow it. If you are one of these companies who're happy to spend more time focusing on their competition than their own business needs, it's highly likely that you will consider informing Trading Standards (TS) about a company who is selling products you're suspicious of.
If you really want to grass up a company for not playing by the rules, go back up top. There's a few there for you to choose from, and you can report them through The ACI's ukcbdlist.com
Other than that, don't bother.
A recent poll conducted by The Hemp Hound Agency showed that there was what could be described as 'a healthy distrust of The ACI', amongst other things of course. This ukcbdlist, if you're not prepared to complain about the validated companies who didn't have products on sale before 13/02/2020 but you are about 'Joe Bloggs CBD' based in Whocaresshire, I think you need your head checked, because the ones you're focusing on aren't the ones waiting for you to get distracted before they gobble up your market share.
Alison Hernandez and Plymouth Live have both declined to be interviewed by me, and by declined, I mean not answered to my emails about my article in regards to Mrs Hernandez's comments that cannabis should be classed the same as heroin and crack cocaine.
Whilst I've shared my 2 pence worth in regards to Novel Foods and the FSA collectively, the wider state of affairs when it comes to cannabis need to be touched on, because despite how much I bang the drum on this, people still don't seem to recognise that cannabis prohibition and Novel Foods works on the same dynamic.
You can't have cannabis because it owned by GW easily becomes a no to controlled cannabinoids, because guess who owns them
Mrs Hernandez is as dangerous as she believes cannabis to be, as is the TIGRR report, which was authored by Ian Duncan Smith MP and shows the UK working towards being a market leader in medicinal CBD and cannabinoid based products, and is supposedly influenced by The ACI, or GW in sheep's clothing.
Mrs Hernandez's belief that cannabis should be a Class A drug... how do 'you' feel about that?
Personally, the irresponsible nature of those comments has made me question the need for political influence inside the role of PCC's, because as a politician first, she comes into the job following the party line:
"Drugs are bad, and by drugs we mean cannabis, because it destroys communities in the same way hard drugs do. So we won't talk about drugs, especially cannabis."
Pretty much every MP that's spoken about cannabis recently, and echoed by Mrs Hernandez, PCC for Devon, Cornwall and The Isles of Scilly.
As someone who has grown and dealt cannabis in the past, I've seen the bad side of drugs. I've seen the gangs, the violence, and everything that comes with living in that world, but be in do doubt, that world only exists because of the laws of the land. I managed to keep my nose clean, and came out without the scars to tell the tale. That being said, drug slaves exists, as does gang crime and county lines, and the associated violence and anti-social behaviour.
All of that is off the back of cannabis prohibition.
We all see the way of the world, how emerging canna-markets are changing economies for the better, so why is the UK ignoring that, and why are politicians speaking out against relaxing laws around cannabis when a few have interests in medicinal cannabis?
The Hemp Hound Agency would like to re-invite Mrs Hernandez for an interview, as well as Plymouth Live, to talk all things cannabis: It's legal standing, it's influence on society, the crime that is associated with that, and why a lot of Conservative MP's have an influence on cannabis whilst also being in a position to financially benefit by maintaining prohibition.
I would also be happy to a topical debate with the ACI, we could discuss their relationship with the FSA, the large amount of staff being hired and whether 20 members pays for that, financial records and business interests as a whole, their disruptive influence in the CBD industry and their relationship with GW.
Finally, I would like to buy Paul Tossall a pint with a whisky chaser, but only if he consents to a full interview where we can talk honestly about: Novel Foods, the 0.69% with validated products vs the 99.31% still awaiting evidence, why he has disregarded complaints that provide evidence that certain companies should not have validated products, and when he'll accept that a full investigation into the running of Novel Foods needs to be conducted.
If you are one of the above entities and you would like a chat, or you're someone who wants to know what The Hemp Hound Agency is all about, email email@example.com