IN THE NEWS
Safety First: Jamieson Fish Oil SupplementsMar 10, 2010
Since 2001, Jamieson Laboratories has been asking Health Canada to increase scrutiny of the nutritional claims of natural health products and to enforce stricter purity and safety testing of raw materials. As a manufacturer of premium natural health products, Jamieson Laboratories has long warned retailers and consumers alike that cheap products come with a hidden safety cost.
The following Q&A has been created by Jamieson Laboratories to reassure Canadians of the safety of our Omega-3 supplements.
Question: What are PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls)?
Answer: PCBs are human-made industrial chemicals that are now ubiquitous in the environment, which means that all living matter contains at least trace amounts. These compounds are known to cause cancer.
Q: Should Jamieson consumers be concerned?
A: No. Jamieson fish oils are micro-distilled, purified and rigourously checked for known chemical contaminants, such as PCBs and heavy metals. Our products are 100% safe for people of all ages. Jamieson has a strict, decades-long quality-control protocol that is the foundation of everything we do.
In terms of purity, each Jamieson Omega-3 capsule contains a lower level of trace PCBs than the following common foods: a forkful of fish, half an ounce of whole milk, 4 teaspoons of water, half a large egg, a cube of cheddar cheese or one hot dog.
Q: Why has FishOilSafety.com released this information now?
A: Chris Manthey and Benson Chiles are environmentalists and the co-founders of FishOilSafety.com, which has been monitoring the safety of the fish oil industry for years. Yesterday, they held a press conference to announce a lawsuit against fish oil supplement manufacturers and retailers. According to a 20-year-old California law, known as Proposition 65, consumers must be warned if they are exposed to chemicals known to cause cancer or birth defects. Manthey and Chiles want the fish-oil industry to get serious about keeping PCBs out of supplements. Six months prior to the lawsuit, they notified the companies that legal action was in the works if the quality of products was not improved.
Q: Which companies have been named in the lawsuit?
A: The lawsuit names eight companies: CVS Pharmacy, Inc.; General Nutrition Corp. (GNC); Now Health Group, Inc.; Omega Protein, Inc.; Pharmavite LLC (Nature Made brand); Rite Aid Corp.; Solgar, Inc.; and TwinLab Corp.
Q: What products have been identified in this lawsuit as hazardous?
A: FishOilSafety.com tested oils of cod, salmon and shark produced in a variety of formulas by the eight companies.
Q: What safeguards protect Jamieson product quality?
A: First and foremost, Jamieson never uses lesser-quality marine oils often found in cheap nutritional products. Every batch of the premium Omega-3 fish oil we use has been tested multiple times for contaminants before entering the production cycle. To ensure ongoing quality, the oil is purified and must pass more than 200 quality-control tests before microencapsulation. In addition, all products are subjected to more than 360 clinical purity tests at Jamieson Laboratories as part of our 360 Pure protocol.
Q: Should I continue to take Jamieson Omega-3 fish oil products?
A: Absolutely. Our rigorous micro-distillation process ensures that Jamieson fish oil products are, in essence, PCB-free. We believe that the use of Omega-3 fish oils, whether dietary or supplemental, represent one part of a healthy lifestyle. Science supports the benefits of these essential fatty acids. According to research cited by Health Canada, a balanced ratio of adequate EPA and DHA per day helps:
- Support cognitive health and/or brain function (Haag 2003; Morris et al. 2003; IOM 2002)
- Support the development of the brain, eyes and nerves in children and adolescents (Marszalek and Lodish 2005; Haag 2003; IOM 2002)
- Maintain and support cardiovascular health (Oh 2005; Wang et al. 2004; Leaf et al. 2003; Kris-Etherton et al. 2002)
- Reduce serum triglycerides/triacylglycerols (Oh 2005; Balk et al. 2004; Hooper et al. 2004; Nilsen et al. 2001; Sirtori et al. 1998), and
- In conjunction with conventional therapy, reduce the pain of rheumatoid arthritis in adults (Volker et al. 2000; Sköldstam et al. 1992).
Jamieson Laboratories applauds any initiative that inspires optimal quality of natural health products. Until PCBs can be removed from the environment, they will continue to be present in our air, water, food and bodies. Our goal as a responsible manufacturer is to ensure that, to the best of scientific capability, we produce the safest, purest and most effective supplements to enhance human health. And that is our commitment.