Last week the Central Drugs Standards Control Organization (CDSCO) asked for feedback on a proposal “to replace gelatin capsules with cellulose based capsules which are of plant origin and are safe for use as compared to animals-based gelatin capsules."
The organisation did not provide more information or respond to requests for details.
The Indian media attributed the proposal to an “advisory group looking into the drug and pharmaceutical matters."
Some reports suggested it was prompted by safety concerns and demand for capsules suitable for vegetarians.
Drug controller general of India G N Singh told the Times of India "A proposal has been received for plant cellulose-based capsules which are also safer for use than animal-based gelatin ones."
The European chemical industry council - CEFIC - told us it is analyzing CDSCO's note and that it will provide detailed comments to Indian authorities.
It also stressed there are “no scientific reason to substitute gelatine with HPMC.”
“Gelatin is a natural and safe product with GRAS status in pharmaceuticals and food applications. It is manufactured by gentle extraction from collagenous raw materials without heavy chemical modification.”
“It is easily dissolved in the human body allowing a rapid release of medicinal products in the stomach. It is GMO free, completely natural, sustainable and non-allergenic. In addition gelatin requires no E number and is therefore an ideal ingredient for today’s consumer needs for clean label.