Chobani: Air Force Ban Prompted Company to Remove Hemp Seeds From Yogurt

By Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Reporter
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. news, including politics and court cases. He started at The Epoch Times as a New York City metro reporter.
August 27, 2013 Updated: July 18, 2015

Yogurt manufacturer Chobani announced Tuesday it would remove hemp seeds from its Blueberry Power Flip yogurt, following the Air Force saying it banned the yogurt flavor because it could skew drug testing.

The blueberry flavor is the only type of Chobani yogurt that contains hemp seeds, according to Amy Juaristi, director of public relations for Chobani. Hemp is one part of cannabis, which also produces marijuana. However, hemp is known for its industrious uses–the U.S. used to use it to make ropes and sails for war, for instance–and has no psychotropic properties. 

Nevertheless, the Air Force said on August 26 that it banned members from eating the blueberry flavor because the hemp seeds contain THC, an active ingredient in marijuana, which is currently illegal in the United States. 

“In order to ensure military readiness, the ingestion of products containing or products derived from hemp seed or hemp seed oil is prohibited,” the Air Force announced in a statement. “Failure to comply with the mandatory provisions of this paragraph by military personnel is a violation of Article 92, UCMJ.”

Another Chobani spokeswoman, Jessica DiGennaro, said that the THC amount in hemp seeds–particularly so few hemp seeds–would be too low to register on a drug test. “Based upon the research we have conducted from the published literature available, the findings suggest that hemp food consumption is not likely to meet this threshold if THC levels in hemp oil and hulled seeds are maintained below 5 and 2 parts per million respectively,” she told the Air Force in an email.

A day later, Juaristi said that Chobani is removing the hemp seeds from the blueberry flavor.

“We’ve heard some concerns from the military community about Chobani products containing hemp seeds and want to set the record straight. Except for Blueberry Power Chobani Flip, no Chobani product contains hemp seeds,” she told the Air Force in an email. “However, we’re committed to giving our fans what they want and are in the process of removing the ingredient from our Blueberry Power Chobani Flip. We greatly respect our armed forces and take pride in serving our troops.”

Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Reporter
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. news, including politics and court cases. He started at The Epoch Times as a New York City metro reporter.