In Part 2, we talked about the likelihood of your Omega-3 supplement being made in China or containing Chinese fish oil.
So what if it really was made in China?
What’s the problem with ‘Made in China’?
Well, the problem is that there is no permanent transparency in China.
Some Chinese plants are open to audits. And many US auditors visit these companies regularly.
But there are no true and lasting controls.
Some Chinese manufacturers produce excellent products. And some don’t. It’s the latter that worry me.
Most North American and European fish oil refiners belong to GOED, the Global Organization for EPA and DHA Omega 3, a non-profit trade group.
- GOED membership requires some transparency and quality compliance.
- GOED members must commit to following a code of ethics and business practices.
- Most importantly, GOED’s monograph serves as an unofficial quality guideline for the fish oil industry.
Until very recently, GOED had no Chinese members.
You only need to look at the drug recalls during the last 5 years to get an idea of what scares me.
The 2007 Melamine pet food scare followed by the 2008 Heparin disaster that killed 149 people, were on newspaper front pages. When the FDA inspected the offending plants, they found several serious issues.
More recently, counterfeit Viagra that had drywall ingredients mixed in. (No jokes, please!)
And that’s just for pharmaceutical drugs that legally require more monitoring that a dietary supplement like fish oil.
Only 12% of Chinese plants inspected by 2010
The FDA says that it does not have the funds nor bear the responsibility to inspect on a regular basis, overseas manufacturers of active pharmaceutical ingredients. A GAO report released in October 2010 states that the FDA had inspected only 12% of hundreds of Chinese pharmaceutical plants that produce ingredients for the US market.
That’s just for pharmaceutical drugs, not dietary supplement manufacturers.
Monitoring all foreign fish oil manufacturing is unreasonable and simply can’t be a high priority for the FDA.
The Beauty of Cheap
As Americans, we expect a Chinese screwdriver or pen to be cheap.
We expect it to break.
We toss it and buy a new one.
That’s the beauty of cheap.
A leaky pen or broken screwdriver never hurts your health.
The point of all this is to demand transparency! If you choose to buy a discount fish oil for any reason, that’s fine. But you deserve the right to know what you’re getting for your money.
If you can’t get transparency from the Chinese, well, fine. You should
expect demand it from your American supplier!
- When it comes to something you ingest, something you put in your body to improve your health, don’t you want better control over it?
- Don’t you want to know where it’s from and what’s in it?
- When you ask questions, don’t you want real answers?
It’s OK to expect all of that!
Enter Branded Fish Oils!
Manufacturers of high quality fish oils like Ocean Nutrition, EPAX, Organic Technologies and Croda have begun branding their oils.
Think ‘Intel Inside.’
Ocean Nutrition’s oil is called MEG-3.
Croda’s oil is called PureMax.
Organic Tech’s is called AlaskOmega.
EPAX’s oil is called, well, EPAX.
You may not know these names or their brands. Yet. But these brands are made proudly in places like Norway, Canada or…Ohio. Yes, Ohio!
They have their own logos.
Some fish oil products have started putting these fishy logos on their products. Look for it. At least it tells you that the oils were made to exacting and third-party validated standards.
Think Dell computer with that tiny Intel logo. Same thing.
If there’s no fancy logo…
…call the company that makes your fish oil pills and just ask.
Some will tell you the straight up truth. They may even show you proof of where it’s made.
Others may give you a coined answer like “Our product is sourced from various locations and it passes all mandated quality specifications.” That’s when you hang up the phone and keep looking for a better fish oil supplement.
*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.