Canada Hemp Foods Ltd. finds the story below to be disturbing. We say “Hemp Heart buyers beware!” Canada does not allow the importation of raw hemp seed from China for good reason – they’re not safe. We also believe this action by Hemp Inc. goes against the whole premise of re-introducing hemp as an industrial crop for food and fiber in the U.S.

Hemp, Inc. announced the arrival of its first shipment of hemp hearts into the U.S. from the Gansu Province of Northwest China. The 2013 crop yielded over 40,000 kg (about 85,000 lbs) of hemp seeds. The shipment was expected on February 25, 2014. Hemp, Inc. plans to test market the hemp hearts to wholesalers and retailers to find the best distribution channels.field of hemp hearts

CEO, Bruce Perlowin stated, “This announcement underscores Hemp, Inc.’s leadership and commitment of delivering a new, unique flavor to consumers. We believe consumers will find the bold taste and subtle texture superior to what is currently available in retail chains such as Whole Foods Market and other nutritional health food stores.” He continued, “The new, green American Industrial Revolution is underway and we’re building upon the tremendous momentum we’ve established over the past couple of years. This first shipment marks a new juncture for the industrial hemp industry.”

But is this “new juncture” a positive one? We don’t think so. What assurances does the U.S. market have that these seeds are non-GMO? Canada’s are definitely ALL non-GMO. What condition are the fields in where the seeds are grown? What grew in these fields before (and after) their hemp crops? Are pesticides or herbicides ever used? The answers are so far unknown on this crop from China – but very clear from Canada’s growers – herbicides and/or pesticides are NEVER used on Canada’s hemp fields.

Apparently, with this 2013 crop, the Yasheng Group (Hemp, Inc.’s partner) exceeded Hemp, Inc.’s expectations. The Yasheng Group, one of China’s leading producers, was contracted by Hemp, Inc. to cultivate and process 108 acres of industrial hemp. The Yasheng Group, with headquarters in the U.S.,  is a high-growth diversified China-based agriculture conglomerate. It conducts business operations in China in three major categories: agriculture, livestock, and biotechnology.

Hemp, Inc. is in negotiations now to contract the Yasheng Group to grow even more for the 2014 hemp crop.