Suppliers have to guarantee the origin of their products based on integrated supervision of the collection and manufacturing processes of serum products.
The serum's country of origin has no influence on cell growth. One batch of FBS may work well for one specific cell line, but not for another.
"Serum performance" is specific for each cell line.
Definition of country of origin:
The country where the animals were slaughtered or, in the case of donor animals, where the blood was collected. This includes animals born and raised in the country of origin, as well as imported animals, and may also include animals imported for immediate slaughter.
"Misrepresentation" is when the product is mislabelled in terms of the declared origin, and can be total or partial:
- "Total" is when FBS from a less expensive origin is sold as if it were from a more expensive origin;
- "Partial" is when a less expensive origin and a more expensive origin are mixed e.g. in proportion 49-51, and only the more expensive 51%- origin is declared.
This generates an illicit profit for the seller, at the expense of the serum users; and may cause companies to unknowingly violate import regulations or product master files. The actual research results and end products are unlikely to be seriously affected, but falsified origins violate government, industry and consumer standards of honesty and traceability. "Smuggling" is a way of misrepresentation, and can be in the form of importing a product under a false description; directly to a final destination, or via third country.