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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Is your fish oil contaminated with high levels of polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) compounds?

Recently, a lawsuit filed in San Francisco Superior Court cited a number of suppliers of fish oil supplements for selling products contaminated with high levels of polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) compounds. The levels identified were above the safety limits established by California’s Proposition 65. Prop 65 established a safety limit of total PCBs at 0.09 ppm (90 ppb or 0.09 ug/kg). In fact, the lawsuit stated that some products contained as much as 70 times the amount of PCBs as other products!

Biotics Research Corporation takes painstaking measures to ensure all the products we produce are of the highest quality and are safe and effective. This includes our products containing fish oils. Biotics Research was not named in this or any other Prop 65 lawsuit. We are pleased to inform you that our fish oil products not only comply with the Prop 65 standards for PCBs, but also comply with the much more stringent European safety standards for fish oil products.

Interestingly, this recent lawsuit comes on the heels of other similar lawsuits and reports relating to the quality, or lack thereof, of dietary supplement products. One suit filed in Alameda County Superior Court in California sited 74 manufacturers and suppliers for selling products containing excessive levels of lead, a toxic heavy metal (see Santa Cruz Sentinel Staff Report posted 4/22/09). Just last month, an investigative article published in the Archives of Internal Medicine (Feb 10, 2010) reported on selenium toxicity associated with a dietary supplement. It involved a liquid multiple with vitamins, minerals, amino acids, 58 “trace elements” and other ingredients supplied by a chiropractor to his patients. The report stated that the product contained 200 times the amount of selenium stated on the label. It is interesting to note that some of the companies named in the lawsuits have independent GMP certifications from various organizations.

The above mentioned incidences support Biotics Research’s philosophy and use of our own stringent Quality Control policies and procedures; many of which far exceed the regulatory requirements, not because of some legislation such as Prop 65 or the newly enacted GMPs, but because it has always been the right thing to do. It is part of our corporate fabric and has been since our inception more than three decades ago.
Simply stated, it is part of who we are. We have state of the art laboratory facilities and well trained, highly skilled QC and QA personnel working together with our production department to ensure our products are of the highest quality possible, are safe and effective, and meet the needs of our Health Care Professional customers and their clientele.

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