In the News - Press Coverage     Testimonials     Press Releases


— Warns That Lead Contamination May Worsen if USP Accepts Currently Proposed Allowance —
WHITE PLAINS, NEW YORK — DECEMBER 8, 2008 — petitioned the United States Pharmacopeia (USP) today to lower its proposed limit on lead contamination in drugs and dietary supplements. The USP recently proposed a limit of 10 mcg (micrograms) of lead per daily serving. This amount would permit a children's vitamin, for example, to contain a potentially toxic amount of lead. It would also permit drugs and supplements to unnecessarily expose adults, including pregnant women and their unborn children, to significant amounts of lead.'s tests for lead in over one thousand dietary supplements have shown the vast majority to contain less that half of one microgram of lead per a daily serving. Similarly, FDA tests of multivitamins this year showed the average amount of lead per daily serving to be approximately half of one microgram.

Setting the allowance for lead at 10 mcg is contradictory to FDA policy of reducing lead levels to the lowest amount that can be practicably obtained in manufacturing.  In fact, in 2006 the FDA lowered its guidance on the maximum concentration of lead in candy frequently consumed by children to 0.1 ppm (0.1 mcg per gram). If the limit for candy were applied to  a drug or supplement (which typically weighs one to two grams per daily serving), it would permit only 0.1 mcg to 0.2 mcg of lead — many times less than the allowance proposed by the USP.

The FDA's Good Manufacturing Practices rule for dietary supplements does not specify limits for contaminants and requires each manufacturer to set its own limit. believes that manufacturers may internally adopt the limit to be chosen by the USP which, if lax, may lead to increased contamination in products.

"From a consumer's perspective, there is no reason to permit ten micrograms of lead in a drug or supplement. Even candy is held to a higher standard," said Dr. Tod Cooperman, President of Dr. William Obermeyer, Vice President for Research, noted, "It is our hope that USP recognizes that the current proposal may be potentially harmful to children and others and chooses a limit similar to that used by and the State of California." Dr. Obermeyer was a FDA Natural Products Chemist prior to co-founding in 1999.'s letter to the USP is found at Concerned individuals are encouraged to send their comment to the USP. is a leading provider of consumer information and independent evaluations of products that affect health and nutrition. 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.

— END —

back to top



Coronavirus Information Center
Coronavirus Information Center
Answers to Critical Questions About COVID-19.

Product Reviews

In addition to our product reviews our encyclopedia covers the following:

Herbs & Supplements


Drug Interactions

Alternative Therapies



Follow us on...
facebook twitter
Join |  Sign In
Join Us on Facebook! Join Us on Instagram! Join Us on Twitter! Join Us on YouTube! Join Us on YouTube!
Product Reviews
Brands Tested
Health Conditions
CL Answers
Clinical Updates
Recalls & Warnings
Recommended Intakes
Where to Buy Products
Testing Program
How Products Were Tested
Quality Certification Program
Join CL Today
Join Free Newsletter
Group Subscriptions
Gift Membership
About Us
The CL Seal
CL Survey
Privacy Policy
Contact Us/Help

©2020, LLC. All rights reserved. A single copy of a report may be printed for personal use by the subscriber. It is otherwise unlawful to print, download, store or distribute content from this site without permission. name and flask logo are both registered trademarks of, LLC. This site is intended for informational purposes only and not to provide medical advice.