Recently there was a news story on CBS News about a lawsuit that will force manufacturers to disclose the levels of PCBs (or polychlorinated biphenyls) in fish oil capsules. The worry is that these levels are extremely high which is incredibly unsafe, not to mention illegal, because elevated PCB levels can lead to cancer. So, a group of environmentalists in California brought a lawsuit against eight supplement manufacturing or distribution companies to force them to disclose the PCB levels in their fish oil capsules. The eight companies are: CVS Pharmacy, Rite Aid, General Nutrition Corp., Solgar, Twinlab, Now Health, Omega Protein and Pharmavite. The suit claims that all of the companies are violating California’s Proposition 65 by not informing consumers about non-zero levels of PCBs. In their initial testing conducted by the Plaintiffs, they found that levels of PCBs in supplements for popular fish oil products varied wildly: from about 12 nanograms per recommended dose in the best performer to more than 850 nanograms in the worst performer.
So, this got one of my readers, Steve from NJ, wondering about the levels of PCBs in the Kirkland Signature Fish Oil Capsules, and naturally if he needed to be concerned about taking them. Luckily, Costco isn’t one of these companies and was more than willing to give him all of the relevant information when he sent a Customer Support query using the online form at Costco.com asking about the manufacturer and PCB levels for Kirkland Signature Natural Omega 3 Fish Oil 1000 mg. This was the response that he received:
Kirkland Signature Fish Oil omega-3 fish oil products use only the oil from wild ocean fish, and do not use oil from farm-raised fish. The fish oil is derived from salmon, sardines and anchovies. Each batch of fish oil is processed using state-of-the-art molecular distillation or absorbent technology to assure high levels of purity. All batches of fish oil are guaranteed to pass the stringent standards of the CRN (Council for Responsible Nutrition) Omega-3 Monograph. The CRN’s standard for PCBs are no more than 0.09 mg/gram 0.09 mcg/gram and no more than 0.1 mcg/gram for mercury. In addition, the fish oil products meet the United States Pharmacopeia (USP) omega-3 fish oil purity standards as well as comply with all standards prescribed by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
We are unable to provide vendor or manufacturer contact information for our Kirkland Signature products. If you have questions regarding one of our private label products, please contact our Customer Service number at 800-774-2678.
While they won’t tell you who the manufacturer is, they are willing to disclose the PCB levels. So, if you had been worried or concerned about the safety of your KS fish oil capsules, now you have the information you need to make an informed decision about their safety. And thanks to Steve for sharing this information with everyone!
Of course, you do have to wonder about how bad the numbers are for the manufacturer’s and distributors that won’t release this information. If they’re not illegal, why don’t they just disclose it?