2014 and the month’s grace for imports of Glucosamine, Chondroitin and Chitosan has expired. DEFRA and friends new regulations designed to make life even more painful for EU tablet producers. I suppose it is DEFRA way of protecting us from taking pills for animal derived sources without it being regulated. One would almost wonder who put them up to it?

Conspiracy theories are always around that the Pharmaceutical Industry is behind it . The Anti Arthritic business is big.  Why they pick on Glucosamine when there are many other products that are animal derived and yet have no legislation. Take Vitamin D3 which is derived from sheep wool, I could be wrong but are those sheep stations food registered? A few amino Acids are derived from Chicken Feathers but again I don’t hear of producers having to comply to similar regulations as Glucosamine. Green Lipped Mussel Powder ?

I have been asked how imports will get in? Well the producers in China and India will have to register with the EU as laid down in regulations. One Chinese factory has done this and has been handed a monopoly by the EU. So much for competition then ?

There is no way of legally importing it otherwise. In the past DEFRA have been very vague on how to import. They could NEVER give a definitive guide on imports especially chondroitin. It was left up to ..er…customs officers and ..er..Port Health Inspectors who were never singing from the same song sheet. Gareth Malone would never have been able to get harmony out of them.

John BullI am sure a few enterprising importers will already be taking advantage of the discord to bring imports in through member states where the interpretation may not be the same as ,say, the UK. So imports may get in the back door although the trail back to the producer may not be complying with  the new regulations. I would check surges in sales of John Bull Printing Kits.

Of course Glucosamine can be made by fermentation and so will escape the fishy derived regulations. Only to fall foul of novel food regulations. Cargill is approved by novel food and so is one Chinese producer Hygieiea.  Any imports of vegetarian that are not on the approved novel foods list will be illegal.

No doubt customs across the EU will be applying this rigorously and I suppose they do have the ability to trace the consignment back to the origin where all paperwork can be checked to ensure all will be in order.

Call me an old cynic but the industry and quality worked quite well and Glucosamine after the harsh chemical treatment on the shrimp shells was probably quite safe and did not need this regulation.  Of course in the past a lot of adulterated chondroitin was probably sold to industry. Basic ingredients like maltodextrins could be passed off as chondroitin and human nature as it is was probably tempted by paying $1.50 kg for maltodextrin and selling it at $40 kg as chondroitin.

smugglersTo add my own conspiracy theory I can see a nice trade possibly developing in smuggling of Glucosamine and a few doctored documents just like the horse meat scandal. good news perhaps for booze and cigarette smugglers and human traffickers  as understaffed customs officers across the EU will be hoping to catch Glucosamine Smugglers. I am probably now in the realms of fantasy to compare it to Prohibition in 1920’s America. The similarity being well meaning legislation that creates a new illegal industry where money the great motivator drives it on. Instead of speakeasies  I suppose we will have Jointeasies where you can buy bootleg tablets . ( Groan !) Sorry could not resist that one ??

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