FINOLA asked us to post this urgent message from the plant world;
On 20 April 2016, seven species of animals munched on a pile of hempseed in our backyard. Our game camera took 588 pictures during this 15 hour dinner-breakfast-brunch-lunch banquet. Click here to see a PDF (27 mB) with a few of the best pics, and see some familiar faces.
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 2.5 Mb PDF on FINOLA’s morphology and development with pictures.
Click HERE to download a new 100 Kb PDF that describes some basic things about us, the FINOLA variety, the Finola company and the Finola registered trademark.
Some Background 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 EU list of subsidized crops in February of 2003, after a surprising amount of administrative resistance. For reasons that we are still unable to explain, FINOLA growers did not receive their EU subsidy in 2003, and this caused some initial disappointment.
Wrongful removal of the EU FINOLA subsidy in 2006
After the 2006 growing, FINOLA was removed from the EU list of subsidized hemp varieties because some poorly collected samples from a few 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 ”high” THC values in some FINOLA field samples. In this case, ”high” was defined as anything over 0.2% THC.
On 23 February 2011, the EU Commission finally decided on 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 series of shame entitled Noise from the North!, and in a scathing critique by JC Callaway
Finally, on 29 April of 2013…
Commission Implementing Regulation (EC) No 393/2013 returned FINOLA to the EU list of subsidized hemp varieties, after it was wrongfully removed after the 2006 season. Regulation 393/2013 applies to all countries in the EU. This regulation also eliminated the need for 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 time to take field samples of FINOLA (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 near latitude 50o) and later sampling at cooler 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 (2.2 mB pdf), 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).
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
Noise from the North!
While the FINOLA variety of hemp remained listed in the EU Common Catalogue, the EU subsidy was removed for the industrial cultivation of FINOLA after the hot and dry European summer of 2006, when a few poorly controlled field samples tested over the 0.2% THC limit in Finland, Sweden and the UK. The following opinionated articles describe key features of human 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 their mistakes. Of course, no one in the European Commission has ever apologized for their incompetence or their poor administration. We will keep these articles available to the public, and we will bring back the Noise if our rights are violated again.
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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