The Facts on Prop 65 and Heavy Metals in Supplements

On March 6, 2018 Consumer Report released an article which stated there has been arsenic and lead found in several popular protein supplements.

To summarize, the article looked at eight popular supplement products and discovered that half of them had various contaminates such as arsenic, cadmium, mercury, and lead, and toxins like bisphenol A (BPA), the chemical you find in some plastic food containers and liners.

You can read the full article here:

Concerns from the Team at SDC Nutrition

This consumer report brought a level of worry to the team here at SDC Nutrition. We have always been passionate about the high-quality products that we create and strive to show the consumer how our products stand out from the rest. But when reports like this come out, it leaves consumers wondering…. “What really makes any of these products listed in this report any different from the protein I currently use?” Since the consumer reports article unveiled, we’ve had several consumers personally reach out to our customer service, concerned, and wanted to ensure the quality of testing done on our products. So, we wanted to clear things up for you, give you all the facts regarding Prop 65, heavy metals, and how these two topics affect our protein powders and supplements.

So, what is Prop 65? Where did it come from? How did this begin?

In 1986 The State of California asked its voters a simple question “Do you want toxins in your food”? Leaving the consumer an answer of Yes, or No. Really? Who would say yes? Activists at that point in time were simply trying to pass a law to help improve California’s drinking water. With doing so, it affected a variety of products across the board

  • Supplements
  • Cleaning Supplies
  • Food Dyes and Artificial Colorings
  • Pesticides
  • Foods

California’s Prop 65 compared to National Standards

Prop 65 has an ever-growing list of chemicals that if used in manufacturing, they have “safe harbor” limits on how much can be in each serving of a product. The first issue with this is, they set those safe harbor limits so low that it’s impossible to not surpass these limits when manufacturing. Prop 65 limits are typically 1000 times lower than what the FDA, the EPA and the WHO have set as acceptable standards.

You can find the list of chemicals here.

Which leads us to the next issue. No one is really explaining where the chemicals and heavy metals come from. Articles such as the Consumer Reports article lead the consumer to believe manufacturers are purposely adding toxins into their products during manufacturing. This couldn’t be further from the truth.

Let’s start by discussing some of these chemicals and heavy metals – what exactly are these?

Heavy metals refer to a group of elements that can be toxic when consumed by humans and refer to these elements: Lead(Pb), Mercury (Hg, Cadmium (Cd), Arsenic (As) and Chromium (Cr).

Under current good manufacturing practice (cGMP) for dietary supplements, manufacturers of supplements that are sold in the United States are required to: “establish limits on those types of contamination that may adulterate or may lead to adulteration of the finished batch of the dietary supplement to ensure the quality of the dietary supplement.” (Title 21 Code of Federal Regulations § 111.70(b)(3), or 21 CFR 111.70(b)(3)).

Meaning, Thus, the federal cGMP rule does not provide a specific list of heavy metal contaminants that could potentially adulterate a dietary supplement. Instead, manufacturers determine what, if any, heavy metal specifications are appropriate under cGMP for their ingredients and finished products, and what heavy metal tests are needed, whether to meet established specifications or for other purposes. In addition, any self-imposed heavy metal cGMP specification needs to be met by the manufacturer to comply with the federal cGMP rule. This may make it seem like manufactures are tricking you and not testing the products, but this is not the case for products manufactured by SDC Nutrition, Inc. We test all raw materials before they are accepted into our facility, along with third party testing on finished goods.

Heavy metals are naturally occurring components of the earth. They are disbursed into the environment through human activities such a mining. Lead, for example can travel a long ay before finally settling into the soil. These heavy metals can then be absorbed into plants, fruits and vegetables that we plant into the affected soil. For example, cocoa powder is notorious for having elevated levels of lead because the cocoa bean grows in soil. With giving this example, there is a chance for heavy metals to be found in all of the food products you consume that come from the earth.

According to the EPA, lead in our soil can range from 50 to 400 pm with higher concentrations near mining sites. (Lead can travel long distances before settling to the ground and sticking. This can then have possibilities of getting into our drinking water too.)

Prop65 allows 0.5 micrograms per day, but the FDA allows 75 micrograms per day for adults and 6 micrograms for children.

When any business, small or large manufactures their products and limits are surpassed, they are required to place this warning label on their products for the State of California.

Prop 65 states: WARNING: This product can expose you to chemicals which are known to the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm.

Here’s a list of manufactured products that are anywhere from 8 to 24 X HIGHER in lead than what Prop65 allows. These items require the Pro65 warning to be on their labels and packaging in the State of California. WARNING: This product can expose you to chemicals which are known to the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm.

  • Shrimp – 23.8 mcg
  • Dry Roasted Nuts – 10.2 mcg
  • Brussel Sprouts – 7.9mcg
  • Sweet Potatoes -7.2 mcg
  • Spinach – 7 mcg
  • Wine – 6.8 mcg
  • Avocados – 4.5 mcg
  • Cucumbers – 3.4 mcg
  • Peaches -3.4 mcg
  • Red Apples – 2.6 mcg
  • Strawberries – 2 mcg

Rendering all organic herbal supplements being sold in California, must have this Prop 65 warning due to them growing in the earth. WARNING: This product can expose you to chemicals which are known to the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm.


Why don’t all products and supplements have this warning?

  • Manufacturers may not test their products, or may not know that need to
  • They may just be a brand owner, don’t manufacture their products and are unaware of the law.
  • Negligence due to the warning. It’s scary almost frightening. He thought of a consumer thinking they will develop cancer or have a child with deformities due to drinking a protein shake is downright frightening.

No matter what the reason is for them to not label, the risk of not properly testing your products can result in law suits, enormous fees and damage to your brand.

Why Are We Different?

SDC Nutrition, is a cGMP and FDA certified manufacturer that is also NSF, Halal and Kosher certified. All our products, including AboutTime All-Natural Sports Supplements, G6 Sports Nutrition, NVIE Nutrition and RECOR Sports Supplements go through a rigorous analysis via our in-house testing laboratories along with third party testing on final products before being released to commerce.

We test all SDC Nutrition products for heavy metals. With immense quality control procedures, SDC Nutrition, Inc follows all cGMP, NSF and FDA regulations. Our Quality team is comprised of individuals with over 25 years of pharmaceutical/nutraceutical experience, lead by Jennifer McCrerey, who has spent over 15 years in Pharmaceutical Quality.

“Although virtually impossible to manufacturer natural botanical dietary supplement products without trace amounts of heavy metals, e.g. mercury (Hg), lead (Pb), arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd), due to the inherent metal levels present in the water and soil the plants grow, each finished product is analyzed for Heavy Metal and Microbial contaminants.  Every dietary supplement product produced at SDC Nutrition Quality released for human consumption meet, and typically exceed federal safety standards”.

Our in-house quality control measures for the safety of consumers and our clients are always first and foremost our main concern.  We take pride in doing what is right from a Quality perspective, not what is easy.

SDC Nutrition Inc, is here to answer any questions or concerns you may have on our brands or specific testing measures. If you have any questions regarding Proposition 65 (Prop 65) Please contact us at or call us at 412.275.3351 ext 208

We’re proud to provide many of the top-quality protein supplements on the market and strive to provide safe and quality products to all of our customers.

Marissa Spade

Marissa graduated from Robert Morris University in May 2018 with a Bachelor of Science in Marketing. She started her career with SDC Nutrition as an intern during her college years and under the guidance of the co-founder Devenee Schumacher she has been an integral part of the Digital and Social Marketing presence for the company.

Internally she claims the token “Millennial” role of the team, but she is involved in every aspect of the digital face of the company from copy writing, public relations, affiliate management, ambassador management, and content creation. Since becoming a full-time member of the team she has most notably launched over 100 published articles for the company and its brands & she has successfully on-boarded over 500 affiliates in the company’s innovative Affiliate program.

Spade is set to launch new innovative content for all of the brand profiles which she is solely responsible for this year and her upcoming national campaigns are set to exponentially increase the overall audience for the company. Stay tuned for her upcoming accomplishments… you won’t want to miss the updates!

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