Outbreaks of Foot & Mouth Disease, or FMD, occasionally occur in cattle and pigs. It is not fatal, but the contaminated animals are immediately destroyed in order to prevent expansion of the disease to other animals. Humans are at no risk from FMD, as the virus cannot be transferred to humans.
There has never been any scientific evidence linking FMD with gelatin. Humans cannot get FMD from eating food. FMD presents no threat to food safety.
Worldwide, authorities have continually attested to the safety of gelatin. It continues to maintain its ‘Generally Recognised as Safe’ status within the US. In the Asia Pacific area, gelatin is manufactured from bones, cattle hide and pigskin.
The International Animal Health Code 2000, published by the Office International des Epizooties, states that a number of alternative processing steps, applicable to the gelatin manufacturing process, are effective in rendering the FMD virus inactive.
The FMD virus is rapidly inactivated at pH levels of less than 5 and greater than 10, and at temperatures over 80 degrees Celsius, which are standard gelatin manufacturing practices.
The manufacture of gelatin globally, and within the Asia Pacific specifically, is a severe process using alkalis and/or acids in the pre-treatment stages. The materials undergo extensive washing with the resultant gelatin solutions further purified by filtration and ion exchange. Coupled with these processes, the gelatin is exposed to high temperatures as a result of evaporation and high temperature sterilisation.
The GMAP members individually attest the gelatin the member manufactures and sells is safe for use in food, pharmaceutical and cosmetic applications.