FDA sends warnings to companies selling CBD-containing veterinary products

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued warnings to four companies that have sold veterinary products containing CBD.

The letters, sent by the agency to Haniel Concepts Free State OilsHope BotanicalsPlantacea and Kingdom Harvest, said that the firms were illegally selling unapproved cannabidiol products for food-producing animals which may be unsafe for both the animals and the food chain.

While letters to the other three recipients were sent on 26th May, Kingdom Harvest was the first to receive a letter, on 4th May, when the company was warned against the sale of misbranded CBD and delta-8 THC products for humans as well as CBD products for livestock.

At that time, CBD-Intel theorised that there was a chance the FDA may start focusing more on companies selling CBD animal drugs rather than sellers of delta-8 products for humans.

“While the FDA does not know the current extent of CBD use in food-producing animals, the agency is taking steps regarding these unapproved and potentially unsafe products now to help protect animals and the safety of the food supply,” the agency said in a note.

The FDA said its concerns were due to the fact that, while being potentially harmful to animals, the unapproved CBD drugs in question may also affect food products for humans, such as meat, milk or eggs, from the animals that had consumed the drugs.

The agency said that there was a lack of data on the effect these drugs could produce on food from CBD-treated livestock and what levels of potential residues are safe for consumers.


No approved CBD animal drug


The agency said that no CBD products for humans or animals had been approved, with the sole exception of Epidiolex, a prescription medicine used to treat some rare forms of epilepsy in children.

“All other CBD products intended for use as a drug are considered unapproved drugs and are illegal to sell,” the FDA said.

In the most recent warning letters to companies selling CBD treatments for animals, the FDA refers to claims made by the firms on their websites and social media accounts to advertise their products.

These claims, according to the agency, establish the products’ intended use as drugs as they are promoted as being helpful for “farm animals with stress, anxiety, pain, inflammation, injuries” and able to “help manage normal stress, promote a calming effect, maintain a healthy gut, a normal and balanced behaviour, healthy joints and a normal inflammatory response”.

According to the FDA, unapproved drugs such as the ones advertised by the warned companies have not been evaluated to determine whether they are effective, in what doses, whether they could interact with other drugs, and what their side effects may be.

In addition, the agency said, animal owners using unapproved CBD drugs to treat their livestock might postpone seeking the veterinary help their animals may need.

The FDA gave the companies, which were also warned against selling CBD drugs for humans, 15 days to respond to the letters, explaining how they would address the violations they were accused of, and saying that they may otherwise face legal action, including seizures and injunctions.

– Tiziana Cauli CBD-Intel staff

Photo: Stefanie Poepken

Benefits of subscription plans:

  • Stay informed of any legal and market change in the sector that impacts your organization
  • Maximise resources by getting market and legal data analysis daily in one place
  • Make smart decisions by understanding how the regulatory and market landscape evolves
  • Anticipate risks in your decisions by monitoring regulatory changes that impact your organization