Think about the supplements in the grocery stores; they have rows with enticing prices and odd labels. But where do these supplements come from? Who is responsible for the quality control? When it comes to grocery store supplement safety the answer is more muddled than it should be. Taking a closer look at the companies and what kind of quality control they use is one way to make sure you know what you are buying; ask yourself “who is testing these products?”
One thing is for certain, the FDA already has the laws in place to make sure companies follow certain guidelines for quality. How then is it possible that on March 2, 2010 the makers and sellers of fish oil supplements were sued by the Mateel Environmental Justice Foundation in California for not telling consumers that their products contained toxic levels of PCBs? The FDA did not go after these companies, California did. California has a law called Proposition 65 which requires putting a warning label on all products that contain toxic ingredients. Just take a look at commercial grocery store cleaning products; most of them have warning labels and some even have instructions to use CPR if breathing is interrupted.
The companies being sued by The Mateel Environmental Justice Foundation are Omega Protein (the world’s largest producer of omega-3 fish oil) and the companies they produced fish oil for. These companies include: Rite Aid, CVS, GNC, Now Health Group, Pharmavite, Solgar and Twinlab. That’s not all. The Mateel Environmental Justice Foundation only tested 10 omega-3 supplements that were manufactured by this company and all of them contained PCBs. The foundation plans to add more companies to this lawsuit, if necessary, as more testing is being done.
What is even scarier is that most of the labels on these products said that the product was treated to reduce or remove PCBs. Really? Leading people down the primrose path by either not being aware of a problem or blatantly overlooking it is not good business practice.
That not scary enough? How about this; the FDA has announced a massive recall of products containing textured vegetable oil protein made by Basic Food Flavors because of salmonella contamination. There are at least 56 different kinds of consumer products that contain this company’s vegetable oil protein, they include; salad dressing, dips, packaged snacks, potato chips and soup mixes among others. That means this recall will be big and affect many of the foods most people use everyday.
I thought supplements were supposed to be healthy. Well, that really depends on the manufacturer and what they do to test their products for safety and effectiveness. What can you do? As a consumer you need to be aware of where your supplements come from. Be aware that just because a vitamin or mineral is supposed to be good for you, it doesn’t mean that it is being processed in a way that makes that vitamin viable and useful in your system.
Here are some ideas on what to look for in a nutrition company:
A: Get your supplements from a reputable, established company known for quality and integrity; one that has been around for many years and has a proven track record.
B: Make sure this company does many and high quality testing on quality control, a company who isn’t afraid to send it to a third party laboratory to have products tested. You want a company that insists on pharmaceutical grade quality controls for its products.
C: Published clinical studies are an important factor in knowing what you are dealing with. These should include and prove both safety and effectiveness. Choose a company that has published and has continued to publish many clinical studies rather than a company who only does a few or none at all.
Knowing that your dietary supplements are safe and effective will put your mind at ease. Do your research and find the company that goes to the extreme for purity, safety and quality.
For More Information on Supplement Safety Click the Links Below:
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Filed under: Dietary Supplement Safety
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