Fish oil supplements have chemical contamination, lawsuit claims

SAN FRANCISCO Three parties joined Tuesday in filing a lawsuit in California regarding omega-3 supplements allegedly contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyl.

"Consumers who want the health benefits of fish oil shouldn't also have to take the health risks of an extremely toxic man-made chemical," stated David Roe, one of the attorneys for the plaintiffs. The lawsuit names eight makers and sellers of fish oil, shark oil, fish liver oil and shark liver oil supplements that have PCB contamination above the safe harbor limits set for human PCB consumption under California's Proposition 65. That law requires consumers to be warned about such exposures.

“Pharmavite’s] fish oil products comply with all federal laws prescribed by the United States Food and Drug Administration and individual state laws including California Proposition 65, as well as European Commission standards,” Pharmavite, one of the named defendants, noted in response to the suit. Pharmavite also noted its fish oil products were in compliance with the Council for Responsible Nutrition’s voluntary monograph for omega-3 fatty acids and has been recognized by the United States Pharmacopeia Verification Program for omega-3 fish oil purity, potency and quality.

In addition to Pharmavite, the initial defendants named, in alphabetical order, include: CVS/pharmacy, GNC, Now Health Group, Omega Protein, Rite Aid, Solgar and Twinlab Corp.

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