- Delivery Method:
- Via Overnight Delivery
Food & Beverages
Recipient NameEric Schnell
- 11-11-11 Brands
2110 S. Eagle Rd. #356
Newtown, PA 18940
- Issuing Office:
- Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN)
November 16, 2022
Dear Mr. Schnell:
This letter is to advise you that in October 2022 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reviewed your website at the Internet address mood33.com, which is provided on the product label for your Mood33 Hemp Infused Herbal Tea products that contain added cannabidiol (CBD). FDA has determined that your Mood33 Hemp Infused Herbal Tea products are adulterated under section 402(a)(2)(C)(i) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the FD&C Act), 21 U.S.C. 342(a)(2)(C)(i), because they bear or contain an unsafe food additive. Furthermore, it is a prohibited act to introduce your Mood33 Hemp Infused Herbal Tea products into interstate commerce under sections 301(ll) and 301(a) of the FD&C Act, 21 U.S.C. 331(ll) and 331(a).
FDA is particularly concerned that your products are in a form (herbal tea or beverage) that consumers may confuse with traditional foods. The Agency has collected and analyzed a sample of your product and has confirmed the presence of CBD in the product. Therefore, with these products there is a risk of unintended consumption of the CBD ingredient by consumers, which is exacerbated due to the failure of the label to list CBD as an ingredient. Further, we note that the Joy Peach-Yerba Mate and Energy Raspberry Lemon-Guayusa-Green Tea varieties also appear to contain caffeine. Evidence suggests that CBD may affect caffeine metabolism and may increase and/or prolong caffeine’s effects.
You can find the FD&C Act and FDA regulations through links on FDA’s home page at www.fda.gov. You can find specific information about how FDA regulates CBD at https://www.fda.gov/news-events/public-health-focus/fda-regulation-cannabis-and-cannabis-derived-products-including-cannabidiol-cbd.
Adulterated Human Foods and 301(ll)
Your Mood33 Hemp Infused Herbal Tea products are foods to which CBD has been added. As stated above, FDA collected a sample and confirmed that it contains CBD; the product label for this product stated that the product contained cannabinoids derived from hemp (“with 33mg Full Spectrum Hemp Derived Cannabinoids”). Your website bears analytical reports that list the CBD content in your products ranging from 21.30 mg CBD per unit to 35.50 mg CBD per unit. Furthermore, your press page at https://mood33.com/press/, which endorses the linked articles under the heading “Get the latest buzz on mood33 Hemp-Infused Teas,” has links to articles stating that your products use “proprietary CBD microencapsulation.” These linked articles include “A cup of CBD tea? mood33 launches hemp-infused herbal tea range” posted on December 3, 2019, and “mood33 launches new line of hemp-infused herbal teas,” posted on December 2, 2019.
As defined in section 201(s) of the FD&C Act (21 U.S.C. 321(s)), the term "food additive" refers to any substance the intended use of which results in it becoming a component of any food, unless the substance is generally recognized as safe (GRAS) among qualified experts under the conditions of its intended use, or unless the substance meets a listed exception.1
Food additives require premarket approval based on data demonstrating safety. Any food additive that has not been approved for its intended use in food is deemed to be unsafe under section 409(a) of the FD&C Act (21 U.S.C. 348(a)) and causes the food to be adulterated under section 402(a)(2)(C)(i) of the FD&C Act, 21 U.S.C. 342(a)(2)(C)(i). Introduction of an adulterated food into interstate commerce is prohibited under section 301(a) of the FD&C Act, 21 U.S.C. 331(a).
There is no food additive regulation which authorizes the use of CBD. We are not aware of any information to indicate that CBD is the subject of a prior sanction (see 21 CFR Part 181). Furthermore, we are not aware of any basis to conclude that CBD is GRAS for use in conventional foods. FDA's regulations in 21 CFR 170.30(a)-(c) describe the criteria for eligibility for classification of a food ingredient as GRAS. The use of a food substance may be GRAS based on either scientific procedures or, for a substance used in food before 1958, through experience based on common use in food (see 21 CFR 170.30).
We know of no basis for general recognition of safety for CBD based either on scientific procedures or common use in food prior to January 1, 1958. Based on our review of published, scientific literature, existing data and information do not provide an adequate basis to conclude that the use of CBD in food meets the criteria for GRAS status. The available data raises serious concerns about potential harm from CBD added to conventional food. Our review of publicly available data associated with the one FDA-approved CBD drug, as well as our review of published scientific literature, identified potential for liver injury from CBD and potentially harmful interactions with certain drugs. In addition, studies in animals have shown that CBD can interfere with the development and function of testes and sperm, decrease testosterone levels, and impair sexual behavior in males. Therefore, based on our review, the use of CBD in your products does not satisfy the criteria for GRAS status under 21 CFR 170.30.
FDA is not aware of any other exception to the food additive definition that would apply to CBD for use as an ingredient in a conventional food. Therefore, CBD added to a conventional food is a food additive under section 201(s) of the FD&C Act and is subject to the provisions of section 409 of the FD&C Act. Under section 409, a food additive is deemed unsafe unless it is approved by FDA for its intended use prior to marketing. CBD is not approved for use in any conventional food. Food containing an unsafe food additive within the meaning of section 409 is adulterated within the meaning of section 402(a)(2)(C)(i) of the FD&C Act. Therefore, your Mood33 Hemp Infused Herbal Tea products are adulterated within the meaning of section 402(a)(2)(C)(i) of the FD&C Act because they bear or contain an unsafe food additive. Introduction of these adulterated foods into interstate commerce is prohibited under section 301(a) of the FD&C Act, 21 U.S.C. 331(a).
Further, it is a prohibited act under section 301(ll) of the FD&C Act, 21 U.S.C. 331(ll), to introduce or deliver for introduction into interstate commerce any food to which has been added a drug approved under section 505 of the FD&C Act or for which substantial clinical investigations have been instituted and for which the existence of such investigations has been made public. Based on available evidence, FDA has concluded that the prohibition in section 301(ll) applies to CBD.2 There is an exception if the substance was marketed in food before the drug was approved or before the substantial clinical investigations involving the drug had been instituted. However, based on the available evidence discussed above, FDA has concluded that this is not the case for CBD. FDA is not aware of any evidence that would call into question its current conclusion that section 301(ll) of the FD&C Act, 21 U.S.C. 331(ll), prohibits the introduction into interstate commerce of any food to which CBD has been added, but you may present FDA with any evidence bearing on this issue.
As stated above, according to your product labeling and our analysis, your Mood33 Hemp Infused Herbal Tea products are foods to which CBD has been added. Therefore, the introduction or delivery for introduction into interstate commerce of those products is a prohibited act under section 301(ll) of the FD&C Act.
This letter is not intended to be an all-inclusive statement of violations that may exist in connection with your products. You are responsible for investigating and determining the causes of any violations and for preventing their recurrence or the occurrence of other violations. It is your responsibility to ensure that your firm complies with all requirements of federal law, including FDA regulations.
This letter notifies you of our concerns and provides you an opportunity to address them. Failure to adequately address this matter may result in legal action including, without limitation, seizure and injunction.
Please notify FDA in writing, within fifteen working days of receipt of this letter, of the specific steps you have taken to correct these violations. Include an explanation of each step being taken to prevent the recurrence of violations, as well as copies of related documentation. If you believe that your products are not in violation of the FD&C Act, include your reasoning and any supporting information for our consideration. If you cannot complete corrective action within fifteen working days, state the reason for the delay and the time within which you will complete the correction.
Your response should be sent to CFSANResponse@fda.hhs.gov. Please include “CMS 627690” in the subject line of your email.
Ann M. Oxenham
Office of Compliance
Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition
Food and Drug Administration
1 Under section 201(s) of the FD&C Act (21 U.S.C. 321(s)), the following types of substances are excluded from the food additive definition: (1) pesticide chemical residues in or on a raw agricultural commodity or processed food, (2) pesticide chemicals, (3) color additives, (4) substances used in accordance with a “prior sanction” (i.e., a sanction or approval granted prior to the enactment of the Food Additives Amendment of 1958 under the FD&C Act, the Poultry Products Inspection Act, or the Meat Inspection Act), (5) new animal drugs, and (6) dietary ingredients in or intended for use in a dietary supplement.
2 CBD is the active ingredient in the approved drug product Epidiolex. Furthermore, the existence of substantial clinical investigations regarding CBD has been made public. For example, two such substantial clinical investigations include GW Pharmaceuticals’ investigations regarding Sativex and Epidiolex. (See GW Pharmaceuticals Receives Investigational New Drug (IND) from FDA for Phase 2/3 Clinical Trial of Epidiolex in the Treatment of Dravet Syndrome). FDA considers a substance to be “authorized for investigation as a new drug” if it is the subject of an Investigational New Drug application (IND) that has gone into effect. Under 21 CFR 312.2, unless a clinical investigation meets the limited criteria in that regulation, an IND is required for all clinical investigations of products that are subject to section 505 of the FD&C Act.