The World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) has decided to remove cannabidiol (CBD) from its list of prohibited substances, effective January 1, 2018. WADA, which regulates prohibited substances for athletes, announced the move in a 2017 September 29th update. The Canada-based agency oversees the World Anti-Doping Code, which is used by more than 600 sports organizations, including the International Olympic Committee. The World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva, Switzerland, is currently reviewing CBD’s therapeutic potential in a revision that may redefine how CBD is regarded and controlled internationally.
Meanwhile, back on the farm– on 20 April 2016, seven species of animals munched on a pile of hempseed in our backyard. We still have snow on the ground at this time of year. Our game camera took 588 pictures during this 15 hour dinner-breakfast-brunch-lunch banquet. Not all of these pictures are in this PDF (27 mB), so click here to see a few of the best pics.
Current status of FINOLA in the EU: Perfectly Legal!
During the December 2016 holiday season, the United Kingdom’s Department of Farming and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) submitted Implementing Decision (EU) 2016/17 to the European Commission. This was DEFRA’s second attempt in 10 years to ban the cultivation of FINOLA in the UK. We did not agree with this recent decision, just as we did not agree with DEFRA’s first attempt to ban FINOLA after 2006. This recent witch hunt relied on THC results from only two field samples; one in 2014 and one in 2015. Both were collected from the same farm in Northern Ireland. Both samples were collected late, and not according to EU regulations. Both samples happened to be just slightly over the 0.2% THC limit, because of the late sampling.
Instead of wasting another seven years with polite e-mails, we quickly decided to launch a judicial review against DEFRA this time, after they initially refused to discuss the matter with us directly. After just a few weeks, DEFRA realized and acknowledged some of their mistakes, then took administrative steps to cancel the prohibition they had just asked the European Commission to implement. DEFRA has promised to take additional steeps to correct the damage they have caused so far, and we’re still waiting for them to delivery on that. On 11 October of 2016, the European Commission passed this NEW Implementing Decision to cancel the prohibition that DEFRA had just asked them to pass in December of 2015.
If hemp samples are still collected in your country for THC testing, please be sure to help your agricultural officials plan for the correct time to take field samples of FINOLA (between 40 to 60 days after sowing in the UK and Central Europe). The correct time of sampling is dependent on latitude and heat energy, with earlier sampling at warmer lower latitudes (40-50 days after a sowing near latitude 50o) and later sampling at higher latitudes (50-60 days after sowing near latitude 60o).
For instructions on how to order OECD certified C-1 FINOLA planting seed:
Click HERE for a 20 page PDF on FINOLA’s morphology and development with pictures.
Click HERE to download a two page PDF that describes some basic things about the FINOLA variety, the Finola company and the Finola registered trademark.
Some history on the FINOLA variety
FINOLA was developed in Finland in 1995 under the breeder’s code FIN-314, and independent agricultural trials for Plant Variety Rights (PVR) began in the Netherlands during 1997. The PVR for FINOLA was eventually granted in 1999. The FINOLA oilseed hemp variety was finally admitted to the European Union’s list of subsidized crops in February of 2003, after the European Commission recognized oilseed hemp as an industrial crop. However, FINOLA growers still did not receive their entitled subsidy in 2003, and this caused some disappointment. Although the situation was bleak, we decided to continue. Because we could, and we thought this was important.
Wrongful removal of the FINOLA subsidy in Europe 2006-2013
After the 2006 season, FINOLA was removed from the European Union’s list of subsidized hemp varieties because some poorly collected samples from a few European Member States had reported THC values that were slightly over the 0.2% limit. Subsequent agriculture research by the Finnish Ministry of Agriculture in 2009 and 2010 clearly demonstrated that late sampling (that is, human error) was the main cause for the occasional FINOLA field sample to go over the 0.2% limit.
On 23 February 2011, the EU Commission finally passed a resolution to reinstate the FINOLA oilseed crop subsidy, but only for Finnish farmers. You may read that official decision here. Representatives from other EU Member States subsequently asked the EU Commission to return their crop subsidy for growing FINOLA. The resulting resolution marked the first time that a listed hemp variety had been de-listed, and then re-admitted to the exclusive EU subsidy list for approved hemp varieties. We only lost five years of business by this time, so we continued to press for our full rights to be returned. We’ve written about this below, in our mocking series of shame entitled Noise from the North!, and in a scathing critique by JC Callaway
Finally, on 29 April of 2013 (just a little too late for the 2013 planting season…)
Commission Implementing Regulation (EC) No 393/2013 returned FINOLA to the European Union’s list of subsidized hemp varieties. Regulation 393/2013 applies to all countries in the European Union. This regulation also eliminated the need for EU Member States to report hemp THC values to the European Commission. If hemp samples are still collected in your country, please be sure to help your agricultural officials plan for the correct date to take field samples of FINOLA (typically between 40 to 60 days after sowing). The correct time of sampling is dependent on latitude and heat energy, with earlier sampling at warmer lower latitudes (40-50 days after sowing in Central Europe) and later sampling at cooler and higher latitudes (50-60 days after sowing near latitude 60o). This suggestion is in compliance with the field sampling procedure that is described in Annex I of COMMISSION REGULATION (EC) No 1122/2009. If FINOLA field samples are collected according to the field sampling regulations, then the typical THC value for FINOLA is well below the 0.2% limit. This is a fact that has been has been systematically confirmed by extensive independent testing since 1995, and FINOLA is now the most tested hemp variety in the world. Instead of thinking that FINOLA might one day change into an illegal drug substance, perhaps we should finally consider governmental incompetence as a likely explanation for these administrative problems.
We should all be more interested in the applications of any useful innovations in modern agriculture.
SOME PEER-REVIEWED ACADEMIC PUBLICATIONS on HEMP by JC Callaway
Click HERE for a chapter on Hempseed Oil (36 A4 pages, 524 kB pdf), by JC Callaway and DW Pate. This revised version was published in 2009 as Chapter 5 (pp. 185-213) In: Gourmet and Health-Promoting Specialty Oils, Robert A. Moreau and Afaf Kamal-Eldin (Eds.), AOCS Press, Urbana Il, ISBN 978-1-893997-97-4.
Click HERE for a short new article by JC Callaway, entitled “Hempseed oil, in a nut shell”, published in the March 2010 Volume 21(3) of inform; a monthly publication of the American Oil Chemists’ Society (AOCS).
Hempseed Oil is a functional food: Read about the results of these two clinical studies:
Effects of hempseed and flaxseed oils on the profile of serum lipids, serum total and lipoprotein lipid concentrations and haemostatic factors. Schwab US, et al. European Journal of Nutrition . 2006, volume 45(8), pages 470-477
For general information on hempseed nutrition, check out this publication:
With hemp come politics, and when sloppy science collides with careless administration, unfortunate things can happen, typically to individuals and small companies. This publication describes the real impact of institutional ignorance and bureaucratic bumbling with dubious scientific results.
Noise from the North!
This is a series of unhappy rants that were written while FINOLA was denied a subsidy in the European Union, from 2007-2013. We had no business in the Europe during that time. Although the FINOLA variety of hemp remained listed in the European Union’s Common Catalogue, the EU subsidy was removed for the industrial cultivation of FINOLA after a few poorly controlled field samples tested over the 0.2% THC limit in Finland, Sweden and the UK in 2006. The following opinionated articles describe key features of ignorance and poor administration for this complex regulation at various levels of government within the EU. Our last article on this complaint was posted in November of 2010. After the EU began to realize their administrative mistakes, we suspended the Noise, to allow the EU to correct its mistakes. Of course, no one in the European Commission has ever apologized for their incompetence or their poor administration of this matter. Until that time, we will keep these articles available to the public, as a reminder of our history. In the dark of winter in 2016, the United Kingdom’s Department of Environmental, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) tried to have FINOLA banned with another EC regulation, which we fought, and won. In less than eight weeks after the prohibition was accepted by the European Commission, DEFRA was asking to have it rescinded. Yes, they eventually paid our legal fees. Such a stupid waste of taxpayers’ time and money.
We never know when to expect the next administrative trampling of our rights, so we will keep these articles up, as a reminder. The Right to Good Administration is a Basic Human Right in the European Union. It requires the offending institution or even individual civil servants to pay for damages.
Noise from the North #5 (92 kB pdf) More evidence shows Finola THC to be below EU limit, posted 15 March 2010
Noise from the North #6 (52 kB pdf) The EU Commission decides to reconsider subsidy for FINOLA, Nov. 2010
The Finola name and the seed-drop logo are trademarked.
The FINOLA variety of oilseed hemp is protected by OECD Plant Breeder Rights.
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