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Study Shows Meat from Hemp-Fed Cattle Safe for Human Consumption, USDA Finds

Study Shows Meat from Hemp-Fed Cattle Safe for Human Consumption, USDA Finds

A recent study conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has revealed that meat products from cattle fed with hempseed cake have minimal concentrations of THC and CBD, affirming their safety for human consumption. The research, carried out by scientists from the USDA’s Agriculture Research Service (ARS) and North Dakota State University (NDSU), aimed to assess the viability and safety of utilizing hemp byproducts as livestock feed. The study’s findings provide valuable insights into the nutritional benefits of hemp seed cake as an alternative feed source for cattle.

A recent study published in the journal Food Additives and Contaminants examined the levels of THC and CBD in cattle fed hempseed cake. The results showed that the concentrations of these cannabinoids in meat products were well below regulatory thresholds for consumer safety. Hempseed cake was also found to be highly nutritious, providing valuable crude protein and fiber for cattle feed. However, it’s important to note that the FDA currently does not authorize hemp as a food source for animals due to concerns about safe residue levels. The FDA has issued warning letters to businesses marketing CBD products for animals, and comprehensive regulations require congressional action.

Apart from the safety aspects, there are additional benefits associated with feeding hemp to livestock. A separate federally funded study found that hemp can reduce stress levels in cows, and researchers have explored the effects of CBD on stress and pain in horses. These findings further underscore the potential advantages of utilizing hemp-based feed.

In addition to conducting research, the USDA has been actively involved in tracking the hemp market and improving regulations for the industry. The department initiated a comprehensive survey of hemp farmers across the country, aiming to assess the market’s evolution since the federal legalization of hemp in 2018. Furthermore, the USDA has launched a weekly hemp market report to provide accurate and timely data on the industry. The department’s collaborations with stakeholders and efforts to enhance insurance policies for hemp businesses demonstrate its commitment to supporting the growth and sustainability of the hemp sector.

The USDA’s study confirms the safety of meat products from hemp-fed cattle, as low concentrations of THC and CBD were found in these animals. Hempseed cake emerges as a highly nutritious alternative feed source for cattle, offering potential benefits to both livestock farmers and industrial hemp producers. While FDA authorization for hemp as a food source for animals is currently pending, ongoing research and regulatory efforts aim to address safety concerns and provide a clearer framework for the use of hemp and CBD products in the future.

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