How Products were Selected:
Products were selected to represent those commonly sold and/or available nationally in the U.S. ConsumerLab.com 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.
Oat-based cereals were tested in one or more independent laboratories for the following:
- Ochratoxin-A by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and/or liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectroscopy (LC-MS/MS).
- Heavy Metals: lead, cadmium, arsenic and mercury by Inductively Coupled Plasma/Mass Spectroscopy (ICP/MS).
- Gluten: All products were analyzed for gluten 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.
To pass testing and be "Approved" for quality, a product must meet the following specifications:
- Ochratoxin A: No more than 3 ppb (micrograms/kg) (European Union limit). For products marketed specifically for infants and toddlers, no more than 0.5 ppb.
- Heavy Metals: All Products:
- 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 (State of California)
- Gluten: Products labeled "Gluten-free" must contain no more than 20 ppm of gluten per serving (FDA). Products containing no more than 5 ppm of gluten will be specially noted in the Review as ultra gluten-free if also labeled as gluten-free.
* Passing scores allow for specific margins of technical error associated with each analysis. ConsumerLab.com 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 ConsumerLab.com testing if it exceeds the levels described in this paragraph.