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Airmen told to avoid Chobani yogurt containing hemp seed

Air Force bans one Chobani yogurt product because it contains hemp seeds. Chobani to change the product. Consuming hemp is against military regulations.
Carol Ryan Dumas

Capital Press

Published on September 4, 2013 11:29AM

The U.S. Air Force is telling its personnel to avoid a Chobani Greek Yogurt product called “Blueberry Power Chobani Flip” because it contains a side of hemp seed, along with walnuts and chia, that can be mixed into the yogurt.

The Air Force has not banned the product, as has been reported, but has reminded its airman that Air Force instruction prohibits airmen from consuming anything containing hemp seed, said Donna Tinsley, a spokeswoman with the Air Force surgeon general’s office.

The Air Force surgeon general posted a press release on the Air Force’s website on Thursday stating military members have been told to avoid the product because hemp seed contains THC, an active ingredient in marijuana, which is detectable under the Air Force drug testing program.

“The Air Force has a long-standing policy in place that prohibits military members from ingesting any product, regardless of manufacturer, that contains or is derived from hemp seed or hemp seed oil,” Capt. Adam Koudelka, legal adviser for the Air Force Drug Testing Laboratory, Air Force Medical Operations Agency, Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, said in a statement.

If an airman is found to have consumed hemp seed or oil, he can be punished for disobeying the regulation, according to Gregory Girard, a deputy director with the Office of the Judge Advocate General.

Amy Juaristi, Chobani director of public affairs, responded to Capital Press’s queries with the following email statement and has not yet responded to follow-up questions.

“Recently, 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.

“However, we’re committed to giving our fans what they want and are in the process of removing this ingredient from our Blueberry Power Chobani Flip. We greatly respect our armed forces and take pride in serving our troops.”


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