A European health agency is warning that eating hemp foods can cause elevated THC levels if ingested in high quantities, a troubling signal for hemp businesses in Europe and worldwide that are seeking assurances that hemp is safe to put in food and drink.

The January report from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) looked at THC levels in 12 different categories of hemp foods, including hemp oil, breads and teas. More than 1,500 samples were collected from the Czech Republic, Germany, Italy and Romania.

The report concluded that THC levels in people ingesting large amounts of hemp products could exceed a safety threshold for THC in food set by the group in 2015 and potentially lead to effects on the central nervous system and an increased heart rate.

Attorney Garrett Graff of Hoban Law Group in Denver told Hemp Industry Daily that hemp producers wanting to access European Union sales channels should note the EFSA warning, even if it doesn’t change EU food law.

“You better believe that there are already tinctures and supplements being shipped to the EU from the United States,” he said. “This could be a step backward over there and a signal to the FDA as they’re monitoring food here.”

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