Does Your Fish Oil Supplement Have PCP In Them?

Hey consumers we forgot to tell you!!

That stuff we bottle to help you with your well being?

It’s got PCB’s or Polychlorinated Biphenyls – a carcinogenic,  liver dysfunctioning agent/ environmental pollutant in it!

You know that stuff that was banned in the US in the 70’s but is still being illegally dumped into our waterways?

Do me a fav and ignore the fact that our label says otherwise – we don’t really test for contaminants – our industry just doesn’t require that we do so.

When the news of this lawsuit came my way I shook my head.  MORE deplorable manufacturing practices.  I don’t know how the folks at these large companies can sleep at night

I like the way our Dr Chaney verbalized the news and the difference our company offers and has offered for a very long time.  I feel remarkably proud that I sell quality.

I especially enjoy his commentary on the FDA – shouldn’t this stuff be taken off the shelves?  What does the FDA do anyway?

He said:

It’s so tempting…

You’ve been getting your supplements from a company that you know and trust – a company that does clinical studies on their products and performs rigorous quality controls.

You know their products are pure, safe and effective…


You’re shopping in your favorite drug store or discount store and you see the same supplements for just a couple of dollars!

You can’t help thinking…

“Wow! Here’s the same stuff I’ve been taking for a lot less money”…”Why not save my money?”…”They must have run some quality control tests on their products”…

“After all, how bad can they be?”

The answer is – pretty bad!

The events of last week illustrate just how bad.

On March 2nd, 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.

I find it amusing and somewhat scary that the FDA did not initiate this action and force the manufacturers to take their contaminated products off the shelves.

Instead an environmental consumers group had to sue them for not including PCBs on the label! They sued them under California proposition 65 which requires a warning label whenever a product contains toxic ingredients.

The defendants in this lawsuit were Omega Protein, a Houston-based company that is the world’s largest producer of omega-3 fish oil, and the many companies that they produced fish oil for – companies like Rite Aid, CVS, GNC, Now Health Group, Pharmavite, Solgar and Twinlab.

And those aren’t the only ones. The Mateel Environmental Justice Foundation only tested 10 omega-3 supplements manufactured by Omega Protein to date and have found PCBs in all of them. They plan to continue testing and to add other companies to the lawsuit if their products are also contaminated.

Even scarier is that many of labels on these products said that the omega-3 supplement was treated to reduce or remove PCBs. As a consumer you were lead to believe that they were safe!

The bottom line is that the manufacturer probably didn’t test for PCBs and neither did the companies selling their omega-3 supplements to the consumer

The alternative – that they tested the products, knew that they were contaminated with PCBs and sold them to the public anyway – is even worse.

As if that weren’t scary enough the FDA announced a massive recall of products containing textured vegetable protein manufactured by a company called Basic Food Flavors because of salmonella contamination.

The problem is that there are at least 56 different kinds of consumer products containing this company’s textured vegetable protein – including salad dressings, dips, packaged snacks, potato chips and soup mixes

(Who knew that salad dressings contained textured vegetable protein?).

That means that this recall will be huge. It will affect many foods that most people buy and use every day.

Once again, the problem is that neither the manufacturer or the companies using the textured vegetable protein had run the basic quality control assays that would have detected salmonella contamination.

So what can you do as a consumer?

Here are my recommendations:

1) Get your supplements from an established company with a reputation for quality and integrity. I would recommend choosing a company that has been around for a number of years so that you know that their reputation is based on their track record over the years rather than just on hype.

2) Make sure that they run rigorous quality controls on their products.  I would choose a company that requires pharmaceutical grade quality controls on their products.

3) Make sure that they have published clinical studies on their products that prove both safety and effectiveness. Again I would recommend choosing a company that has many published clinical studies on their products rather than just one or two.

To Your Health!
Dr. Stephen G Chaney

P.S.   These supplements are my personal recommendation because this company  insists on rigorous quality control tests on every one of their ingredients and on their finished products.  For example, they import ultra pure, triple distilled fish oil from England and test it for PCB contamination after they receive it. They also have published over 70 clinical studies on their products in peer-reviewed scientific journals. They are unique in the industry.

flickr image credit – thank you

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2 Responses to Does Your Fish Oil Supplement Have PCP In Them?

  1. nicole says:

    the FDA is a bunch of money hungry clowns. shameful. i love your post dear.

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