Australia votes for Hemp Foods

Today FSANZ announce a change in hemp foods legislation consideration where you can have your say, again.

Local company, Hemp Foods Australia have been working towards allowing hemp as a food in Australia for 11 years. This year, it seemed that the second application through FSANZ would be a positive change, until Queensland Ministry of Health and Ageing wrote some negative feedback.

Recently FSANZ delayed a response to the Ministerial committee until June 2012, which officially leaves hemp seeds for your dog, or your skincare products. Local entrepreneur and hemp farmer, Paul Benhaim is not happy: “We are trying to bring a new local economy to our community and legislation continues to hold us back.” Having to pay for licenses and unable to promote their target product as a food, Hemp Foods Australia waits to be part of the $419million market for hemp products (2010 figure).

Hemp seeds contain 33% highly digestible protein and a perfect balance of omega-3, omega-6 and omega-9 essential fatty acids. Hemp protein (50%) and hemp oil are also products made from the seed along with snack bars, drinks, ice cream and chocolates. “These products are in most health food stores around the world, with Australia being the last western country to allow hemp as a food,” states Paul Benhaim who founded Byron Bay’s Hemp Farm – a local venture to educated the public on the legal uses of industrial hemp crops. “In the hemp farm we can only show these {chocolates, snack bars, ice-cream} products or sell them as long as they are not for human consumption. Ridiculous, considering their health benefits are proven and are not under question – even by FSANZ.”

What is under question is the consideration that you may want to turn to drugs if health foods containing hemp seed (without any drug ingredient) are legalized in Australia, as they are in the rest of the world. Would this happen to you?

FSANZ have just opened a second round of public comment from 7th December until February 2012. You may email FSANZ direct at and find out more about the current legislation at

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