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Fish Oil Suit Raises Needless Fears
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Vital Choice Salmon Oil is NSF-certified safe; lawyers target big fish oil brands for violations of California’s labeling rules
by Craig Weatherby

First things first.

The single most respected testing and standard-setting lab in the world—NSF International—certifies that Vital Choice Salmon Oil is free of hazardous levels of mercury, PCBs, and all other contaminants.

So you can take any of our Salmon Oil supplements—including our NEW Certified for Sport™ Salmon Oil + Vitamin D—with complete confidence.

What are PCBs and the main food sources?
The term “PCB” refers to variable oily mixtures of up to 209 individual chlorinated industrial chemicals (congeners).

These include dioxins and “dioxin-like compounds”, which are the most toxic of all PCB-type chemicals.

The U.S. banned new production of PCBs in 1977, but by then they’d already spread throughout the environment.

PCBs don’t break down easily, and they accumulate in the fat of longer-lived animals (livestock and fish) over time.

And rather than seafood or supplements, most of the PCBs Americans consume from foods come from poultry, meat, and dairy products.
And this week’s headlines about a lawsuit over fish oil label requirements in California does nothing to change that.

We’ll tell what the headlines are all about, and then explain more about the safety certifications on our Salmon Oil.

What the headlines are about
California has a law called Proposition 65, which sets uniquely strict limits on potentially toxic food, water, and soil contaminants.

A group of lawyers has sued several major supplement makers over the amounts of toxic polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) allegedly found in their fish oil products.

However, the lawyers don't argue that the PCB concentrations in the defendants’ products fall above Prop 65’s highly conservative “No Significant Risk Level”.

Instead, they allege that those fish oil products contain PCBs at levels that trigger a Prop 65 regulation requiring a disclosure statement on the label.

Putting that debate aside, you can rest assured that all Vital Choice supplements containing Wild Sockeye Salmon Oil and all Vital Choice seafood products meet U.S. FDA and United Nations safety standards.

Vital Choice Salmon Oil meets UN and U.S. safety standards
We looked carefully for the most reputable laboratory to certify the potency and purity of our Wild Sockeye Salmon Oil supplements.

What about Vital Choice fish and shellfish?
All of our fish and shellfish are extremely low in PCBs.

As is the case with mercury, our fish are inherently low in PCBs, either because they are naturally short-lived or because we pick only young, small members of the species (e.g., our Halibut and Tuna).

The average trace levels of PCBs in Wild Alaskan (and Canadian) Salmon—about 2 parts per billion—are 1,000 times lower than the safety limit of 3 parts per million set by the U.S. FDA (ATSDR 2001).
We decided to place our trust in NSF International, which is one of the world’s most respected contaminant-detection laboratories.

(You’ll find the NSF certification mark on all of our Salmon Oil products, including our new Certified for Sport™ Salmon Oil 1,000 mg + 1,000 IU Vitamin D3.)

NSF tests each annual oil harvest, and gave our 2009 oil harvest a Pass grade on all safety counts, including total PCBs and the most toxic PCBs, called dioxins.

The minuscule levels of dioxins that NSF detected fall below the daily intake limits for set by the United Nation’s World Health Organization (WHO):

As the March 3, 2010 NSF test report says, “…the product is compliant with the 20 pg WHO-TEQ/day limit [on dioxins and dioxin-like compounds]…”

And our Salmon Oil also beats U.S. FDA standards for PCBs, by a mile.

According to our most recent NSF test results, the trace level of PCBs in our Wild Sockeye Salmon Oil is a truly trivial 0.04 parts per million (ppm).

This is 75 times lower than the 3 ppm that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) allows in dairy foods, seafood, poultry and meat (ATSDR 2001).

In other words, as the NSF seal says, our Salmon Oil is a perfectly safe supplement.

  • Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation; Spill Prevention and Response Division. Series 1, Fact Sheet # 7: Contaminant Concentrations. March, 2004. Accessed at
  • NSF International (NSF). Test Report, Vital Choice Seafood 1000mg Sockeye Salmon Oil w/ Vitamin D3. March 3, 2010.
  • U.S. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). ToxFAQs™ for Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs). February 2001. Accessed at

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