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Jarrow Formulas Addresses Inaccuracies in Blog Reporting of Heavy Metal Content in Rice Protein Products
LOS ANGELES, May 16, 2014: Recently a blog has started a campaign about heavy metal levels in various rice protein products. This campaign has also mentioned Jarrow Formulas’ products. Jarrow Formulas believes this blog is attempting to create a less than truthful view of rice protein products and would like to set the record straight.

The blog facilitated an “agreement” on new heavy metal limits that various manufacturers would agree to meet by 2015. When Jarrow Formulas did not sign this agreement the blog attempted to position Jarrow Formulas as unwilling to support safe heavy metal limits in its rice protein products.

In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. Jarrow Formulas and its raw suppliers have been engaged in a R&D project for many years before the blog began to mention this issue. The project involves testing soil and ground water across a significant number of farms, many of which are in Asia. The goal is to make consistent progress over time while also maintaining an economically viable pricing structure.

Since Jarrow Formulas has been actively working on this issue, it could see the proposed heavy metal levels in the agreement may not be viable by 2015 and decided it would be dishonest to sign any such agreement. It makes for good PR to say everyone signed the agreement, but the truth is that any meaningful change must undergo significant scientific validation with partners throughout the entire supply chain. This can’t be done in the two-week period the blog provided Jarrow Formulas to sign their agreement.

1. Safety
All Jarrow Formulas’ Brown Rice Protein SKUs meet or are below the limits for heavy metals as established by the United States Pharmacopeia, which are:

Jarrow Formulas’ latest tests confirm that each Brown Rice Protein SKU is below the USP lead levels by at least 33 times:


2. Lot Variability and Naturally Occurring

All natural products vary from crop to crop and from extraction to extraction. This is one of the main differences between natural and synthetic products. The variation is caused by naturally occurring differences in soil, ground water and the natural response of the crop to its environment. As such, it is not the industry practice to simply test one lot and use that as the sole decision point. Several data points need to be collected. Given the wide variation from lot to lot, it is highly likely that one lot may test very low, while a different lot will test higher. By taking multiple data points a truer picture will emerge. Likewise, heavy metals are naturally occurring within the environment and are therefore typically present in natural products to some degree.

3. Ongoing Sourcing Improvements
Jarrow Formulas as a company is constantly working to get the best raw materials available within the framework of economic viability. We have been working with our Brown Rice Protein raw material suppliers for several years in an ongoing effort to select the best farms with the best growing conditions.

4. PPM, Not PPB
It is industry practice to report heavy metal levels in ppm. Obviously, multiplying ppm by 1,000 to convert to ppb is going to give a larger number.

5. Amount Per Serving
The manufacturer creates a formulation of several ingredients and sets a daily serving limit. These two checks support the consumption of safe heavy metal amounts in products. Simply looking at concentration does not yield a true understanding of the amount of heavy metals consumed, which is why the amount per serving method is used.

6. New Levels? Tungsten?
The blog also sets up an arbitrary heavy metal level that it has asked suppliers to agree to meet. These levels are:

While Jarrow Formulas is in favor of lower heavy metal levels in its products, it feels a) this blog’s proposal of non-validated limits as a new standard is not scientifically sound, and b) asking manufacturers to agree to those limits is not the way to move the industry forward.

There has also not been any connection between levels of tungsten found in supplements and negative impacts on health. Including tungsten is not warranted. There is also no evidence to include tungsten on this list. There have not been any studies correlating high dietary intake of tungsten with a degradation of health. Illness from tungsten typically only occurs at very high levels, and from inhalation, not oral consumption in food or dietary supplements. Even California Proposition 65, considered to set artificially low limits, doesn’t include a value for tungsten.

Jarrow Formulas has been on the forefront of producing the highest quality, purest, and most scientifically validated dietary supplements available for over 30 years. Jarrow Formulas tests all its products at audited third party labs, and within its sister manufacturing company, Jarrow Industries, for heavy metals, and a long list of other constituents. Each lab that Jarrow Formulas uses abides by the Good Lab Practices (GLP) and Jarrow Formulas itself operates within the Current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP) regulations.

The bottom line is Jarrow Formulas is currently selling products that meet or exceed the safe levels of heavy metal consumption as set forth by the USP. All Jarrow Formulas products are produced within all relevant federal and regulatory guidelines. Jarrow Formulas has also been engaged in ongoing R&D projects to lower heavy metal content with its supplier partners and is open to new, lower heavy limits, provided there is sound scientific evidence to support these levels.

Rory Lipsky
Senior Director of Business Strategy, Jarrow Formulas, Inc.
(310) 204-6936 or rory@jarrow.com

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.