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ConsumerLab Finds Lead, Cadmium and Arsenic Contamination in Greens and Whole Foods Supplements

White Plains, New York, August 9, 2016 — Powders, pills and drinks made from ingredients like wheat grass, alfalfa, kelp, spirulina, chlorella, leafy vegetables and fruits are a popular choice for people looking to increase their intake of vitamins, minerals and other plant-based nutrients. However, recent tests by ConsumerLab.com of "greens" and "whole foods" products revealed that four of 13 products exceeded limits for lead. One of these four was also contaminated with cadmium, while another was contaminated with arsenic. The findings were confirmed in a second, independent laboratory.

None of the products were contaminated with pathogenic bacteria or yeast or with dangerous pesticides. All products labeled as "gluten free" were found to meet the claim.

As part of its review, ConsumerLab.com also compared products on cost, which was found to range from just 31 cents to $4.35 for a single serving -- and some of the most expensive products were among those which failed testing. ConsumerLab.com also found that the high levels of vitamins and minerals in some products could cause a person to exceed upper tolerable limits, above which there is a risk of toxicity, especially if having more than one serving daily or if given to children.

"These products can provide important nutrients, but they should not be considered a substitute for whole fruits and vegetables," said ConsumerLab.com President Tod Cooperman, M.D. "Most importantly, they should not put you at risk of harm." Among products which were Approved, ConsumerLab.com identified its Top Picks. 

ConsumerLab.com's Review of Greens and Whole Food Powders, Pills and Drinks is now available online at https://www.consumerlab.com/reviews/Greens_Whole_Foods_Powders_Supplements/greens/. It includes test results and quality comparisons for the following 17 products, of which 13 were selected for testing by ConsumerLab.com and four which are included for having passed the same testing through CL's voluntary Quality Certification Program: AmaZing Grass Green Superfood, Barlean's Green, Biorganic Life, Garden of Life's Perfect Food RAW Organic Green Super Food, Greens Organics +, HealthForce SuperFoods Vitamineral Green, Healthy To Go! Go Greens, It Works! Greens Orange, Juice Plus+ Orchard Blend, JuicePlus+ Garden Blend, Nature's Plus Spiru-Tein Gold - Banana Berry Blast, NutriBullet SuperFood Cleaning Greens, Texas Superfood Select, The Ultimate Meal, Trader Darwin's Very Green, Vitamin World Green Source Life's Greens and Vitamin World Green Source Origin of Life.

The report also summarizes the evidence for certain greens ingredients and discusses claims about antioxidant activity and alkalizing effects, as well as safety concerns and potential side effects.

Founded in 1999, ConsumerLab.com is a leading provider of consumer information and independent evaluations of products that affect health and nutrition. Membership to ConsumerLab.com is available online and provides immediate access to reviews of more than 1,000 products from over 400 brands. The company is privately held and based in Westchester, New York. It has no ownership from, or interest in, companies that manufacture, distribute, or sell consumer products.