Chobani Responds to Air Force Yogurt Ban

Chobani Responds to Air Force Yogurt Ban

Popular Greek yogurt company, Chobani, announced plans last week to remove hemp seeds from its Blueberry Power Flip pack – a product containing walnuts, chia and hemp seeds which consumers are directed to "flip" into an accompanying yogurt pouch. The controversial ingredient in question – hemp seeds – recently caused Air Force officials to ban the product, citing its reported levels of a psychoactive compound found in marijuana (THC), which could potentially skew service members' drug tests results. Capt. Adam Koudelka, Legal Adviser for Air Force Drug Testing Laboratory at the Air Force Medical Operations Agency, spoke of the Air Force's banning "any product which contains or is derived from hemp seed or hemp seed oil" last week to the Air Force Times, the rationale behind the ban pertaining to the military's need for readiness.

Hemp advocacy groups like Vote Hemp, however, argue that the 10 grams of hemp seeds found per Chobani serving would not likely cause a service member to fail a drug test. Likewise, marijuana advocacy group, Marijuana Majority, argued that, "at a time when a clear majority of Americans support legalizing marijuana, it's absurd that the Air Force would ban its personnel from being able to consume a healthful snack just because it is made with non-psychoactive parts of the cannabis plant", further contending that the product "simply cannot get an Air Force pilot intoxicated, no matter how many [cups] he or she consumes..."

In announcing its plans to remove the hemp seeds from the packs, Amy Juaristi, director of public relations for Chobani, clarified that, with the exception of the Blueberry Power Flip packs, "no Chobani product contains hemp seeds."

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