Product Review:
Greens and Whole Food Powders, Pills and Drinks Review

How Products were Selected:

Products were selected to represent those commonly sold and/or available nationally in the U.S. purchased products on the open market through retail stores, on-line retailers, and direct sales or multi-level marketing companies. Products were not accepted directly from manufacturers.

Testing Methods:
Greens and Whole Foods products were tested in one or more independent laboratories for the following:
  1. Heavy metals: lead, cadmium, arsenic and mercury by Inductively Coupled Plasma/Mass Spectroscopy (ICP/MS).
  2. Chlorinated pesticides: The chlorinated pesticides listed below in Appendix A were analyzed using <561> of United States Pharmacopeia (USP) and using a modified FDA-PAM method by High Resolution Gas Chromatography (HRGC) with an electron capture detector (ECD) and HRGC with mass spectroscopy/mass spectroscopy (MS/MS) detection.
  3. Microbial contaminants: Analysis of microbial contaminants was done using the FDA's Bacteriological Analytical Manual (BAM) and AOAC methodologies with application to USP <2023> guidelines for total aerobic plate count (TPC), Escherichia coli, Salmonella, yeast and mold in dried or powdered botanicals. Testing also included analyses for Staphylococcus aureus. Disintegration of non-chewable, non-capsule, non-enteric coated and non-time-release formulations was analyzed utilizing USP (United States Pharmacopeia) <2040> recommendations entitled "Disintegration and Dissolution of Nutritional Supplements."
  4. Gluten: Products claiming to be Gluten Free were analyzed by Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA).
Any product which did not pass the testing was sent to a second independent laboratory for repeat analysis using similar methodologies.

The identities of the products were not disclosed to the laboratories performing the testing.

Passing Score:*
To pass testing and be "Approved" for quality, a product must meet the following specifications:
  1. Heavy metals: Products containing whole herbs and/or more than 250 mg of minerals per daily dose must not exceed the following limits:
    • Products marketed for use by children may not exceed the State of California's Prop 65 limits for lead in dietary supplements of 0.5 mcg per recommended daily serving with an additional allowance of 0.8 mcg if the product contains more than 1,000 mg/day of calcium.
    • Products with a single serving weight of less than 5 grams which are not marketed for use by children, may not exceed the State of California's Prop 65 limits for lead in dietary supplements of 0.5 mcg per recommended daily serving with an additional allowance of 0.4 mcg if containing 250 - 999 mg/day of any combination of elemental calcium, magnesium and potassium or 0.8 mcg if containing more than 1,000 mg/day of any combination of these minerals. An additional allowance of 0.5 mcg is provided if containing 250-999 mg/day of whole herb (not extract) or 1.0 mcg if containing 1000 mg/day or more whole herb (not extract). However, total lead allowance will not exceed 2 mcg.
    • Products with single serving weights of 5 grams or more which are not marketed for children may not exceed 2.5 mcg per serving nor 4.0 mcg per daily serving.
    Cadmium: If marketed for use by children, may not exceed 0.3 micrograms of cadmium per recommended daily serving (based on Canada's limit for a child weighing 75 lbs.). If not marketed for use by children, may not exceed 4.1 micrograms of cadmium per recommended daily serving (based on the State of California's Prop 65 limit).

    Arsenic: Contain less than 10 micrograms of total arsenic and no more than 5 micrograms of inorganic arsenic per daily serving (EPA limit - based on 1 liter of water).

    Mercury: Contain less than 0.3 micrograms per daily serving of elemental mercury.  
  2. Pesticides: Concentration of any detectable chlorinated pesticide residue(s) must be less than the individual limit(s) listed in Appendix A (below) calculated on a wt./wt. basis (USP <561>).
  3. Microbial contaminants: Products must test negative for E. coli, Salmonella and Staphylococcus aureus. Total aerobic plate count not more than (NMT) 105 cfu/g. Total combined yeast and mold NMT 103 cfu/g USP <2023>.
  4. Gluten: Products labeled "Gluten-free" must contain less than 20 ppm of gluten per serving (FDA); products with large serving sizes (>5 grams or 5 mL) must contain less than 5 ppm of gluten per serving ( applies this stricter requirement on products with larger servings).
  5. Be in compliance with FDA labeling requirements.
A "Pass" was based on meeting the above criteria in either the first or second rounds of testing.

* Passing scores allow for specific margins of technical error associated with each analysis. reserves the right to disqualify a product at any time from passing its testing if it considers such product to present a safety risk or to provide misleading or inaccurate information in its labeling.

** If available for sale in California, a product that exceeds the State of California's Prop 65 lead limit requires a warning label. However, with or without this warning label, a product cannot pass testing if it exceeds the levels described in this paragraph.

Appendix A: Pesticides

USP <561>

Substance Limit (mg/kg, ppm)
Acephate 0.1
Alachlor 0.05
Aldrin and Dieldrin (sum of) 0.05
Azinphos-ethyl 0.1
Azinphos-methyl 1.0
Bromide, inorganic (as bromide ion) 50
Bromophos-ethyl 0.05
Bromophos-methyl 0.05
Bromopropylate 3.0
Chlordane (sum of cis- and trans- isomers and oxychlordane) 0.05
Chlorfenvinphos 0.5
Chlorpyrifos-ethyl 0.2
Chlorpyrifos-methyl 0.1
Chlorthal-dimethyl 0.01
Cyfluthrin (sum of) 0.1
?-Cyhalothrin 1.0
Cypermethrin and isomers (sum of) 1.0
DDT (sum of o,p'-DDE, p,p'-DDE, o,p'-DDT p,p'-DDT, o,p'-TDE and p,p'-TDE) 1.0
Deltamethrin 0.5
Diazinon 0.5
Dichlofluanid 0.1
Dichlorvos 1.0
Dicofol 0.5
Dimethoate and omethoate (sum of) 0.1
Dithiocarbamates (as CS2) 2.0
Endosulfan (sum of endosulfan isomers and endosulfan sulfate) 3.0
Endrin 0.05
Ethion 2.0
Etrimphos 0.05
Fenchlorophos (sum of fenchlorophos and fenchlorophos-oxon) 0.1
Fenithrothion 0.5
Fenpropathrin 0.03
Fensulfothion (sum of fensulfothion, fensulfothion-oxon, fensulfothion-oxonsulfon and fensulfothion-sulfon) 0.05
Fenthion (sum of fenthion, fenthion-oxon, fenthion-oxon-sulfon, fenthion-oxon-sulfoxid, fenthion-sulfon and fenthion-sulfoxid 0.05
Fenvalerate 1.5
Flucytrinate 0.05
t-Fluvalinate 0.05
Fonofos 0.05
Heptachlor (sum of heptachlor and cis-heptachlorepoxide and trans-heptachlorepoxide) 0.05
Hexachlorobenzene 0.1
Hexachlorocyclohexane (sum of isomers a-, ß-, d-, and e-) 0.3
Lindane (?-hexachlorocyclohexane) 0.6
Malathion and malaoxon (sum of) 1.0
Mecarbam 0.05
Methacriphos 0.05
Methamidophos 0.05
Methidathion 0.2
Methoxychlor 0.05
Mirex 0.01
Monocrotophos 0.1
Parathion-ethyl and Paraoxon-ethyl (sum of) 0.5
Parathion-methyl and Paraoxon-methyl (sum of) 0.2
Pendimethalin 0.1
Pentachloranisol 0.01
Permethrin and isomers (sum of) 1.0
Phosalone 0.1
Phosmet 0.05
Piperonyl butoxide 3.0
Pirimiphos-ethyl 0.05
Pirimiphos-methyl (sum of Pirimiphos-methyl and N-desethyl-pirimiphos-methyl 4.0
Procymidone 0.1
Profenophos 0.1
Prothiophos 0.05
Pyrethrum (sum of cinerin l, cinerein II, jasmolin II, pyrethrin I and pyrethrin II 3.0
Quinalphos 0.05
Quintozene (sum of quintozene, pentachloroanaline and methylpentachlorophenyl sulfide) 1.0
S-421 0.02
Tecnazene 0.05
Tetradifon 0.3
Vinclozolin 0.4

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