Goodbody Health’s PhytoVista in a good place in terms of meeting current and future regulatory requirements (AQSE:GDBY)

Goodbody Health

Goodbody Health Group Inc (AQSE:GDBY) subsidiary PhytoVista Laboratories Chief Scientific Officer Nick Clarkson caught up with DirectorsTalk for an exclusive interview to discuss the extension of the scope of ISO 17025, a summary of 2021 Government Chemist CBD Food and Cosmetic Ring Trial report, being well placed to help CBD companies with compliance and the processes being put in place by the FSA.

Q1: Nick, first off, congratulations on the extension of the scope of ISO 17025, and that meets the government and ACMD guidance and especially given that only a small number of laboratories have actually been accredited for this. So, can you just explain for us what this extension means?

A1: So, to give some context, last year there were two sets of guidance released around the testing of CBD products for the UK market. One of the things that the Government Chemist does is advise the government and industry on testing standards and requirements.

So, in achieving the extension of scope of our accreditation, that means that our organisation has been externally assessed by the National Accreditation Body in the UK and that looks at our capability to do testing against these requirements for CBD products. This relates to novel food process and/also CBD cosmetics. Basically, we’ve demonstrated we are capable to do this.

The testing requirements actually present some real challenges for the testing industry in the UK, partly because it’s all new and this is UK-specific approach which is new so we’re having to build from the ground up and develop everything in-house.

So, we’re really happy to keep pushing forward with this and really happy to help be a significant part of the regulated consumer cannabinoid industry going forward.

Q2:  Can you give me a summary of what the 2021 Government Chemist CBD Food and Cosmetic Ring Trial report details?

A2: One of the really important things that the Government Chemist has done was to look at the testing capability that was out there for consumer CBD products and what they did was send samples to 35 labs, both UK and international. We took part in this and we scored highly, in fact by the submitted results, we were 2nd out of 35 so we were really happy with that result.

One of the main things to come out of it was that the testing industry needs to be applying advanced testing techniques for consumer CBD products which is currently not the norm so this led on to the guidance and recommendations that we’ve seen in the sector.

So to me, this was no surprise and we took the decision to invest resources early on and we’re going to see more Ring Trials in the future and we’re looking forward to continue to be a part of that process.

Q3: So, how is PhytoVista now placed to help CBD companies with their compliance?

A3: Well, we’ve had some really very clear guidance now from the Government Chemist for the current testing requirements for consumer CBD products and really, companies should be applying this guidance to their quality control, which is where we can meet the needs of the customer.

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So, we’ve actually future-proofed this as the guidance from the ACMD, which came out in December, was really advise to government on future legislative changes, which are broadly quite similar in terms of requirements to the Government Chemist guidance. We’re really in a good place in terms of keeping up with future regulatory requirements as well as meeting the current ones.

It’s also worth mentioning that we are independent within the group and this is actually a really important aspect of accreditation in that we can be shown to operate impartially as a testing laboratory. Also, it’s important for customers when they’re looking for an independent laboratory to partner with on their compliance.

Q4: Now, as mentioned, PhytoVista Laboratories is part of the Goodbody Health Group and they support the message of putting quality and compliance first. So, what’s happening with the Foods Standards Agency and the processes that they’re putting in place?

A4: Yes, that’s right. Also within the group, there is CBD manufacturing at the group’s facility in Poland, which is a certified ISO 22000, which is a really robust quality management system for this of manufacturing. Really, I think it shows the commitment from the group to achieving recognised standards within the business units.

I think these manufacturing standards are going to play an increasingly important role within the regulated consumer CBD industry and a big part of those manufacturing standards is the need to use an accredited laboratory such as us for their quality control and for their batch release testing. So, as I say, this will be, I think, increasingly important as the FSA are going to be looking at manufacturers and brands much more closely over the next six months.

What we’ve had is a period of time given by the Food Standards Agency for companies to get their products on the road to authorisation so the message from them has been very clear that CBD products classified as novel foods must be in this process of authorisations to remain on sale. We’re expecting a list very soon from the FSA, imminently, and products not on that those lists, we understand, will be targeted for enforcement and taken off the market.

So, it’s going to be an interesting year as we see how the market shapes, but clearly those companies underpinning their brands with quality products and the right quality control testing are going to be well placed to a) remain on the market and b) also increased their market share.

The Goodbody Health Group Inc. is listed on the Canadian Securities Exchange (CSE), the Aquis Stock Exchange – Growth Market (AQSE) Apex segment, OTC Pink, and Frankfurt Stock Exchange (FSE), providing current and prospective shareholders with multiple platforms in which to buy and sell Goodbody Health Group Inc. stock under the EPIC codes: CSE: GDBY / AQSE: GDBY / FRA: 484 / OTC: SCNNF. Retail customers can trade via online brokers AJ Bell, Jarvis Investment Management, Interactive Investor and The Share Centre, alongside the extensive range of telephone broking service providers.

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