Monday, March 05, 2007


It is an irony that in the US, hemp cannot be grown, but all manner of hemp seed products can be used as food and nutritional supplements.

In New Zealand, hemp can be grown, but there is a problem legally with using the seed as food, despite its proven value and historical record of use in Australia and indeed, all over the world. Midlands Seeds has a licence to process hemp, and can sell hemp seed oil, but other hemp seed food products are still banned (at least for humans; birds are allowed to partake, which is good news because this is a favourite among the Aves.)

The policy is determined by the New Zealand Food Safety Authority and Food Standards Australia and New Zealand. Supporting a move to legalise hemp foods is the Sustainable Hemp Co-operative, which includes Midlands Seeds, Biopolymer Network, Canesis Network, Crop and Food Research, Scion, Plant Research, New Hemisphere, Oil Seed Extractions, Winslow Seeds and PPCS.

Midland Seeds is conducting field trials with five fibre cultivars and five oil-seed varieties on a 20 hectare plot at the PPCS research farm in Fairton, expected to be harvested in late March. Hemp production for New Zealand is currently 50-100 hectares, of which Midlands grows about 70%.

1 comment:

Mark Ski said...

Is Midlands still around?