Upper House votes for a hemp food industry for NSW
MEDIA RELEASE – 25 February 2016
The Greens NSW health spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham today welcomed the support of the NSW Legislative Council after it voted 17-16 to adopt a motion calling on the Government to work with other Australian governments lift the ban on hemp food products. The Government opposed the motion but Fred Nile’s Christian Democrats and Labor voted with the Greens in favour.
“The ban on hemp food products in Australia is nonsensical, as Australians are missing out on a healthy and nutritious food source, and Australian farmers are missing out on profiting from a valuable crop and growing market,” said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.
“For years now Australia and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation has delayed making a decision on legalising hemp foods by commissioning endless reports and reviews. 2016 should be the year that a decision is finally made.
“I hope that Minister for Primary Industries, Niall Blair will get over this embarrassing loss and takes on the naysayers within the Government to get a win for farmers and consumers.
“Hemp foods have extremely low levels of THC and it is impossible to get stoned from them. Just about every other country in the world allows the consumption of hemp foods and Australian farmers are missing out on huge potential.
“Despite their supposed support for a hemp food industry, the Government opposed the motion. However, the motion was supported by the Greens, Labor and CDP MPs to be successful.
“The Shooters MPs, fresh after cynically adding “Farmers” to their party name, failed to turn up to this important debate about agriculture in NSW, and failed to vote on the motion. It’s a shocking start for these pretenders.”
Notice of Motion:
- Mr Buckingham to move—
- That this House notes that:
(a) the current ban on the sale of hemp food products is costing Australian farmers a slice of a billion dollar global industry,
(b) Australia and New Zealand are the only countries in the world where the sale of hemp food is illegal,
(c) approval for the sale of hemp food products is supported by Food Standards Australiaand New Zealand (FSANZ),
(d) the 2012 FSANZ report for approval states that:
(i) hemp has no psychoactive properties and, therefore, could not be detectable in drug tests,
(ii) there is no evidence of adverse health effects in humans at low levels of tetrahydrocannabinol exposure,
(iii) hemp grows in a distinctly different way to marijuana and would be easilydetectable by drug enforcement agencies,
(iv) no countries have reported any problem with mixed messaging regarding drug law enforcement, and
(e) the current ban on hemp food products is impeding the development of a sustainable hemp fibre industry.
- That this House calls on the Government to:
(a) work proactively with the Federal and other State and Territory Governments to lift the ban on hemp food products in Australia, and
(b) assist farmers in the development of a sustainable hemp food and fibre industry.