Food Standards Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ) has called for public comments on an application to legalise hemp seeds and oil for human consumption.
FSANZ spokeswoman Lydia Buchtman says commercial hemp crops contain little to no trace of the mind-altering compound found in illicit marijuana and are safe to eat.
Ms Buchtman says foods made from hemp are available in many countries including the United Kingdom and Canada.
“It’s quite a healthy vegetable oil and it’s full of the good fats, not the bad fats.”
“What we’re talking about is industrial hemp. This is hemp with low THC (tetrahydrocannabinol], the active ingredient in marijuana.
“It’s widely grown around the world and used as food or animal feed or for fibre, and in fact it’s grown in a number of states in Australia, including Tasmania.”
Tasmania’s hemp growers have welcomed the debate.
Hemp growers association spokesman Phil Reader says legalising the product would create new industries.
“Anything from perfumes, soaps, right through to any of the food products,” he said.
“It just frees up [opportunities] because nobody, at this particular stage, if you haven’t got a licence, you cannot receive any of the seed.”
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More information on the fight to get hemp food legalized in Australia can be found here