Wired has a story an ingredient in some supplements called “gelatina nigra" or “ejiao," which actually is gelatin made from donkey hide.
Every year, the story says, "millions of donkeys are slaughtered and skinned to make the so-called gelatina nigra … It’s in such high demand due to its alleged health benefits that it’s decimating the global donkey population and has led to increasingly brutal treatment of the animals, according to a 2019 report by the Donkey Sanctuary, an advocacy organization … While some retailers like Walmart and eBay have committed to drop products that contain ejiao, edible items containing this ingredient are widely for sale on Amazon in spite of multiple petitions asking that it stop selling them. A legal complaint filed in California last week by the law firm Evans & Page on behalf of the Center for Contemporary Equine Studies, a nonprofit, claims Amazon’s continued sale of these donkey-based products is more than distasteful—it may be illegal.
"The Center alleges that Amazon’s distribution and sale of ejiao violates an obscure California animal welfare law called the Prohibition of Horse Slaughter and Sale of Horsemeat for Human Consumption Act. The 1998 ballot initiative, known at the time of its passage as Proposition Six, makes the sale of horsemeat for human consumption a crime on the grounds that horses, like dogs and cats, are not food animals and deserve similar protections. The Center is arguing that, under the statute, horsemeat is defined to mean any part of any equine, including donkeys."
Wired notes that "Amazon’s website typically alerts users who attempt to purchase items banned in their state and blocks their sale. We filled an Amazon shopping cart with these edible products and went through the checkout process to see whether Amazon would deliver them to a California address. At no point did we encounter any notifications that the items couldn’t be shipped to California. However, when we added a lightbulb to our cart that is not compliant with California state regulations, Amazon prevented us from completing our purchase. We were ultimately able to purchase several ejiao products and successfully ship them to a California address."
The story says that neither Amazon nor NSD Herbal, one of the companies selling the relevant supplements on Amazon, would comment on the charges.
- KC's View:
It may be an obscure California law, but it still is the law. I hope that Amazon wouldn't comment because it was busy making the programming changes necessary to bring it into compliance.
This is an easy one. Amazon has enough issues to deal with that are a lot harder to address that it ought to quickly fix the ones that it can.