AHPA shares 2023 Farm Bill priorities with Congressional Agriculture Committees
September 11, 2023
The American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) has sent a letter to leaders of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture and U.S. House Committee on Agriculture expressing strong support for four priority issues to be considered in the 2023 Farm Bill reauthorization measure:
Amendment to Organic Food Production Act: Amendment to the Organic Foods Production Act (OFPA) to clarify the National Organic Program's (NOP's) authority to regulate all dietary supplement products labeled or marketed with “organic” claims (and not, per the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA's) 2020 policy change, solely those labeled or marketed with claims referencing the USDA or the NOP, including the latter's seal).
Hemp: Amendment of the legal definition of hemp to raise the delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) limit from 0.3 percent to 1 percent and to remove an existing requirement that hemp crops can be tested for THC-limit compliance only by laboratories with Drug Enforcement Administration registrations.
Industrial Hemp Act of 2023: Inclusion of the Industrial Hemp Act of 2023 (S. 980 and H.R. 3755), which would create a clear distinction between industrial hemp fiber and grain versus cannabinoid or flower hemp as well as less-burdensome regulations for production of hemp grown for fiber or grain.
Specialty Crop Block Grant Program: Increased funding for the USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant program in the 2023 Farm Bill.
“The next Farm Bill presents a significant opportunity to support and strengthen herbal crop growers and producers,” said AHPA President Michael McGuffin. “We encourage Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow, Chairman Glenn Thompson, Ranking Member John Boozman, and Ranking Member David Scott to seriously consider taking action on issues that AHPA has identified as crucial to protecting consumers from fraud, strengthening the gold-standard NOP, and supporting farmers.”
The Farm Bill is critical federal legislation that impacts food and agricultural policies and programs in the U.S. and internationally. Congress must reauthorize this legislation every five years. The 2018 Farm Bill – which federally legalized hemp (defined as Cannabis sativa L. with no more than 0.3 percent THC) – is set to expire this month on September 30.