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Liberals Stalling Process to Legalise Low-THC Hemp as Food

Andrea Dawkins

Andrea Dawkins  -  Thursday, 2 June 2016

Tags: Primary Industries, Hemp, Poppy Industry, Health

Andrea Dawkins MP to move—

That the House:—

(1)           Notes that:—

(a)           hemp has been used as a source of food and fibre from the beginning of human history, but that currently Australia and New Zealand are the only countries in the World maintaining a ban on low-THC hemp as a food product;

(b)           the campaign to overturn the Australasian ban on hemp as a food product began almost 15 years ago when a government investigation declared hemp to be safe and beneficial, but that the Howard government refused to accept the findings and remove the ban;

(c)           the painfully slow progress being made by the Hodgman Liberal Government in legislating for low-THC hemp to be recognised as a legal a food product in Tasmania;

(d)           at a meeting between Health Ministers in March 2016 a decision made to task the Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) with developing a proposal on how low-THC hemp could be legally classified as a food product;

(e)           FSANZ found that nothing but good could come from this “new” food source, and that food derived from hemp seeds provides a dietary source of varied nutrients and omega-3 fatty acids, and importantly, that they had no psychoactive properties;

(f)            despite the report from FSANZ, the Federal and State Liberal Governments in all their wisdom decided that the food authority’s findings should be reviewed, prolonging the process even further;

(g)           the Greens have written to the Federal Ministers responsible for this portfolio issue urging them to bring Australia up to date and in line with the rest of the World in allowing for low-THC hemp as a food product, but received no response; and

(h)           2017 will see a significant drop in the number of poppies grown in Tasmania, with a reduction of around 7,000 hectares, but that this gap could be filled by a lucrative alternative crop of industrial or low-THC hemp, which Tasmania is already well positioned to exploit via the diligent and controlled measures already in place for the poppy industry.

(2)           Calls on Minister for Health, Hon. Michael Ferguson MP, and Minister for Primary Industries and Water, Hon. Jeremy Rockliff MP, to stand up for their community, keep the community well informed of progress being made nationally and to swiftly progress the legalisation of low-THC hemp as a food product for both the health and economic benefit of Tasmanians.