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Nutiva History | Press Release During DEA Attack on Hemp Food Industry

A bit of  Nutiva History with its 1999 Press Release during the DEA attack on hemp foods industry.

DEA Seizes Tractor Trailer of Legal Hempseed Products from Canada AUTHOR:
John W. Roulac  john@hemptech.com
DATE: Friday, 24 September 1999, at 4:22 p.m.

U.S. Customs is threatening nearly $500,000 in fines against Kenex if their recall of granola bars, oil, animal feed, and other products are not redelivered to Detroit Customs in the next few days. These fines are in addition to the fines and possible criminal charges that may be laid in relation to the bird seed load itself. A 30 day extension request to clarify the situation was denied by U.S. Customs.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

For more information: John W. Roulac T: 707-823-2800 ext. *41

DEA Seizes Tractor Trailer of Legal Hempseed Products from Canada.

Agency also demands instant recall of granola bars, horse bedding and other products. Items “clearly exempt” under U.S. Law, say manufacturers.

Sebastopol, California – The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has seized a tractor trailer of sterilized Canadian hemp seed on its way to a large U.S. company that has been selling hemp birdseed blends for years. Following the August 9th seizure, U.S. Customs and the DEA demanded that Kenex, Canada’s leading producer and processor of industrial hemp products, recall previous shipments of other hemp products such as oil, granola bars, horse bedding and animal feed. These actions were taken even though all of the products are clearly exempt under the U.S. Controlled Substances Act since 1937 and many have been sold in the U.S. for 60 years.

The DEA, after repeated requests, refuses to provide any legal basis for the confiscation. Kenex’s president, Jean Laprise says, “Kenex, along with many other U.S. companies are suffering irreparable damage due to the illegal actions taken by the DEA and US Customs. It seems the DEA could be spending the U.S. taxpayer’s drug war money in better ways than chasing after bird seed and horse bedding.”

U.S. Customs is threatening nearly $500,000 in fines against Kenex if their recall of granola bars, oil, animal feed, and other products are not redelivered to Detroit Customs in the next few days. These fines are in addition to the fines and possible criminal charges that may be laid in relation to the bird seed load itself. A 30 day extension request to clarify the situation was denied by U.S. Customs.

Kenex’s western US broker and importer of hempseed products is Nutiva, a Sebastopol, CA based company. Nutiva has over 700 natural food stores, manufacturers and restaurants utilizing the nutritious and versatile hempseed.

Nutiva’s hempseed bar, made with sunflower, hemp, flax and pumpkin seeds and honey, has just surpassed 100,000 units sales, making it the top selling hemp food in the US. John W. Roulac, president and founder of Nutiva, states, “People love the nutty, chewy taste of our hempseed bars. Hempseed is rich in protein, vitamin E and the heart healthy Omega 3 are an added bonus”.

The current seizures, recalls and summons are in effect shutting off the supply of hempseeds for this growing market. If the markets are shut down in the US, American farmers future markets for hemp products will thus be curtailed by their own federal government.

Industrial hemp has no drug qualities and is grown in thirty-two countries including Canada, France, German and England. Roulac, a board member of the North American Industrial Hemp Council(www.naihc.org) and who has also written three books on industrial hemp, finds it ironic that the federal government is serving him a summons for “Marihuana related products”.

The federal government’s recent action is anti-competitive and a violation of NAFTA, which mentions hemp as a strategic commodity. Currently, French and German hempseed products are still arriving under the same tariff code without such seizures into the US.

One of Nutiva customers, Coup Restaurant in New York City, stated, “Our hempseed crusted tuna is our best-selling dish on the menu. To say we are serving a controlled substance is outlandish,” said Executive Chef Kevin Roth. The restaurant is now purchasing this ingredient from other hempseed vendors.

For more information, see: www.hemptech.com www.nutiva.com www.naihc.org

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