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How Products were Selected:

Selected products represent those commonly sold and/or available nationally in the U.S. purchased products on the open market through retail stores and online retailers. Products were not accepted directly from manufacturers.

Testing Methods:

  1. Quantitative analysis of vitamin B12 for products claiming at least 50% of the Daily Value (DV), Vitamin D for products claiming at least 20% DV and protein for products claiming to contain protein, using the United States Pharmacopoeia (USP) and/or AOAC methodology.
  2. Quantitative analysis of calcium for all products claiming to contain calcium by Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectroscopy (ICP-MS).
  3. Quantitative analysis of Lead, Cadmium and Arsenic for all products by ICP-MS.
Any product not passing testing was sent to another independent laboratory to repeat testing for the criterion on which it did not pass. may modify or use other appropriate test methods if necessary to test special product formulations.

Identities of products were not disclosed to laboratories performing the testing whenever possible without affecting product integrity.

Passing Score:*
To be "Approved" by, a product must meet the following requirements:
  1. Must contain 100% and no more than 150% of the claimed amount of vitamin B12 and Vitamin D.
  2. Protein (within 1 gram/serving or 20% of claim, whichever is greater).
  3. Calcium, 100% of claimed amount and no more than 150% of claim.
  4. Heavy Metals: Products 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 contamination per daily serving: 0.5 mcg of lead per cup with an additional allowance of 0.8 mcg if containing more than 1,000 mg/day of calcium.
    • May not exceed the State of California's Prop 65 limits for lead of 0.5 mcg per daily serving (1 cup) with an additional allowance of 0.4 mcg if containing 250 to 999 mg/day of elemental calcium, potassium and magnesium, 0.8 mcg if containing 1000 mg/day of any combination of these minerals. However, total lead allowance will not exceed 2 mcg per daily serving.
    • May not exceed 3.0 micrograms of cadmium per cup (based on Canada's daily limit for a child weighing 75 lbs.).
    • Contain less than 10 micrograms of total arsenic and no more than 5 micrograms of inorganic arsenic per daily serving (1 cup) (EPA and state of New Jersey limits - based on 1 liter of water).
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.

** Based on State of California's Prop 65 lead limit. California requires supplements exceeding this limit to bear a warning label regarding lead.

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