I was browsing through my copy of The Times  ( Nov 28 th page 23 ) when I happened on an article ” A big stink over ban on unsafe foreign cheeses” . It would seem that DEFRA ( a UK government arm of EFSA and other interfering bodies) have banned non EU cheese makers from the World Cheese Awards being held in Birmingham. They are upholding EU Directives which basically say that milk handling in many countries do not meet standards for avioding the spread of disease. That includes Japan by the way. Cheese makers could bring photographs only of their offending Cheese.

Now we have similar scenarios for the importation of a range of animal derived products.

The EU is tightening up legislation on imports of all animal and fish derived nutraceuticals. This will affect Glucosamine, Chondroitin and Chitosan.  FIN 003 2013 – Imports of GCC – 12 November 2014 (3)

The argument against is that these products are produced by quite severe chemical reactions and the transformation form the original starting material is immense.  Little or no DNA survives these processes . Ask many laboratories testing Chondroitin and they will tell you that species identification is difficult. The original ban on Chondroitin from China came in the early part of the century when there was a problem with high antibiotic levels in Chinese Agriculture and aquaculture; mainly chloramphenicol.

Until recently Glucosamine had escaped a lot of the red-tape but this new legislation may create shortages and raise prices to end consumers. Glucosamine is one of the most successful supplements sold for relief of joint pain. Does it work?.. has been the subject of a few studies . It does sell very well and in combination with Chondroitin is thought to be effective in pain relief.

So why is the EU asking for factories to register ?  At my most cynical I could say that they have nothing else to do but to interfere ( see Cheese ) and control with the pretence that it is best for public health.  A bit like climate control green taxes that effect our energy bills and tax air travel and add so much to fuel for our cars.

It will give the chance for officious Port Health Officers to refuse entry to goods if a vital piece of paper is missing and the goods will have to journey all the way back to origin without landing in the EU. I remember one consignment of Chondroitin I tried to import where all the paperwork was perfect. It was bought from China to be delivered to Felixstowe but the shipping line routed it via Southampton. Customs entry and clearance would take place in Felixstowe as normal and Port Health Felixstowe were informed so inspection could be made. However since the container  had first entered the UK in  Southampton Port Health would have to inspect it and I had not told them…..I think you get the idea without going on and on. I am sure many have similar stories and we expect more.

By the way don’t even bother trying to contact DEFRA or the FSA of EFSA as they will not be able to give you a foolproof method of importing without any problems.