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Czech Republic confiscates 110kg of Indian botanicals

Czech Customs authorities recently seized a shipment of Indian botanicals and have initiated proceedings against the importer, Haveli Foods.

Seven botanical products manufactured by STEF MEDICAL CARE India PVT were confiscated for containing unauthorised ingredients including banned herbals Mucuna pruriens, Rauwolfia serpentine, Areca catechu, Sida cordifolia and Ipomoea turphetum.

Pavel Kopřiva, a spokesperson at the Czech Agriculture and Food Inspection Authority (CAFIA ) told us Haveli Foods faces financial penalties.

“The typical penalty is a fine,” he said, although the amount was not specified. The seized products were being destroyed.

They were:

  • KAPIKACHHU (contained Mucuna pruriens)
  • Himalaya SERPINA (Rauwolfia serpentina)
  • Himalaya LUKOL (Rauwolfia serpentina)
  • Himalaya HIMPLASIA (Areca catechu)
  • Himalaya MENOSAN (Sida cordifolia)
  • Himalaya REOSTO (Sida cordifolia)
  • HERBOLAX (Ipomoea turphetum)

CAFIA has been particularly active in protecting the Czech food supply and recently set up a website called Food Pillory to alert the public of, “poor quality, adulterated and dangerous food”.

Red flag contaminants…

CAFIA recently issued a notice about contaminants that had been detected in product inspections that included:

  • Glibenclamide – a pharma ingredient used in diabetes products as it influences sugar metabolism.
  • The aconite plant-sourced alkaloids aconitine, hypaconitine and mesaconitine.
  • The anabolic steroid 1-dehydroandrostenedione (also known as boldione).
  • The erective dysfunction drugs sildenafil and tadalafil.
  • Tetrahyxdrocanabilol (THC). Including a bust last week involving a Romanian importer.
  • The endogenous prescription steroid progesterone.

Supplement busts

Recent products seized include green coffee bean tablets that contained eight times less caffeine than claimed on label, joint tablets of nearly half the chondroitin sulphate claimed and a glucosamine chondroitin combination for joints that contained just over two thirds of the claimed glucosamine sulphate and 30 mg less chondroitin sulphate.

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