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DEA Taste Tests Hemp Foods Nationwide

The DEA has made a ruling that makes hemp foods illegal. We will be going to the Chicago DEA offices downtown, along with protesters in over 70 other cities across the nation to hand out free hemp foods, a "nationwide DEA taste test." Tuesday, Dec. 4th, 11:30 a.m.
230 S. Dearborn St., Suite 1200, Chicago

30, Nov. 2001 (773) 508-3113 - daytime
matwood (at)

New DEA Rule Threatens to Shut Down Hemp Food Industry
Activists Respond with Nationwide “DEA Taste Test”

CHICAGO, IL – The burgeoning 5 million dollar a year hemp food industry is facing a huge challenge as the Drug Enforcement Agency issues new rules banning all hemp seed and oil food products that contain infinitesimal amounts of THC. Hemp and health food enthusiasts will conduct nationwide DEA Challenge Taste Tests in 45 cities on December 4th at 11:30 a.m., including at the Chicago DEA’s headquarters located at 230 S. Dearborn St. Suite 1200 to protest the rule.

WHO: Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP) and Illinois NORML
Hemp & Health Food Enthusiasts

WHAT: Hemp Food “Taste Test” Protest and Media Availability

WHEN: Tuesday, December 4, 2001 at 11:30 a.m.

WHERE: 230 S. Dearborn St. Suite 1200 Chicago, IL.

At the “DEA Taste Tests,” hemp food enthusiasts will offer various food products to DEA employees during their lunch break. Highly nutritious hemp seeds and oil have absolutely no psychoactive effect and are about as likely to be abused as poppy seed bagels for their trace opiate content, or fruit juices because of their trace alcohol content (present through natural fermentation). The DEA has not banned poppy seed bagels despite the trace opiates that have interfered with workplace drug tests, which hemp foods do not.

Hemp is more nutritious than traditional staples because of high concentrations of the two essential fatty acids in a perfect ratio of the omega-3 &omega-6 acids and because it’s rich in Vitamin E and protein. Dozens of hemp food manufacturers who produce a broad range of safe, nutritious foods such as pretzels, chips, energy bars, waffles, salad dressing, cereal and ice cream are challenging DEA rules published in the Federal Register on October 9, 2001. The interpretive rule, effective immediately, was developed without any public notice or comment period and is currently being challenged in federal court.

The DEA's new rules will cause substantial harm to hemp businesses and consumers alike and are not based on any real threat or abuse potential. “The amount of THC in hemp foods is less than an olive pit in a railroad car,” says Matthew Atwood, Loyola SSDP. “The five-year-old U.S. hemp food industry is roughly the size of the soy food industry 30 years ago. Today, soy is used in countless food products and is a multi-billion-dollar crop. The DEA rules are not based in science, will result in job losses and will stifle this growing industry,” says Atwood.

Like poppy seed, hemp seed is clearly exempted from the Controlled Substances Act by Congress. 21 U.S.C. 802(16), (19) and (20). The hemp industry is currently pursuing legal action, but enforcement of the rule by the DEA could at any time result in criminal prosecution. To learn more about hemp foods and how they do not trigger false positive confirmation drug tests please visit

For more information or to arrange interviews with representatives of the hemp industry,
please call Adam Eidinger at 202-986-6186 or 202-744-2671 (cell).



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