Nearly $80 million worth of gelatin sheets and derivatives entered the United States duty free in 2010 under GSP, accounting for 44% of total U.S. gelatin imports. GSP saved American manufacturers $3.5 million last year, about the same as 2009. Brazil, Argentina, and India are the top GSP supplier countries, although Colombia also exported gelatin to the United States under GSP in 2010. But who uses the gelatin? And for what?
According to the Gelatin Manufacturers Institute of America (GMIA), gelatin is used in a variety of food products, including ice cream, cottage cheese, ham, pudding, lozenges, marshmallows, soups and sauces, and of course….JELL-O.
Gelatin is used by pharmaceutical companies to make both hard shells and soft capsules for medicine, by producers of photographic film, and in a variety of adhesives. As a result, the importers of gelatin are quite diverse as well.
Rousselot, with headquarters near Milwaukee, Wisconsin and a production facility in Iowa, imports gelatin from Argentina. LD Davis’ adhesive production facility in North Carolina (the company is based in Pennsylvania) has imported gelatin from Brazil, just like Catalent Pharma Solutions in Florida. Meanwhile, Fujifilm South Carolina, which employs more than 900 people in Greenwood, imports gelatin from India.
Since we don’t eat JELL-O every day, we probably don’t think about all the other ways gelatin affects our life. Similarly, while many people will never think about GSP, it doesn’t mean they’re not paying the costs of its expiration.