Los Angeles, CA, July 20, 2007 – In recent media reports, including www.Bloomberg.com and Forbes, it was reported that the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine in China rejected Jarrow Formulas’ Whey Protein products due to a claimed unacceptably high level of the trace element selenium. The Bloomberg.com report described selenium as a toxic mineral, which is misleading and irresponsible. However, selenium is recognized as an essential nutrient by the U.S. Food and Nutrition Board and the scientific community at large, including China’s. China actually considers selenium a highly important nutrient.
The Keshan county of China is famous for selenium deficiency in its soil, which resulted in high cancer rates and enlarged heart syndromes, even death. There is even a selenium deficiency disease called Keshan Disease. The Chinese government has been fortifying the food supply of this region with selenium for more than a generation.
“News reports have implied that Jarrow Formulas’ products have been removed from China because they are ‘substandard’ or ‘contaminated’ with something that is supposedly used in solar panel manufacturing,” says Peilin Guo, MS, RD, Executive Vice President for Jarrow Formulas headquartered in Los Angeles, California in the United States. “This is due to an unfortunate lack of understanding by the person making these statements about the difference between the nutritionally essential food form of selenium (mostly protein bound) and the industrial form, such as the toxic hexavalent form. Milk products, such as whey, naturally contain protein-bound selenium. Our product is neither contaminated with industrial forms of selenium nor contains excessive food forms of selenium. The unfortunate accusation was due to an unfortunate lack of knowledge of nutrition or could have been made for political reasons. It was not scientific.” Guo is also a Registered Dietician with a Master’s degree in Dietetics, and was herself born in Mainland China.
Even the test results obtained from China show that the level of selenium contained in Jarrow Formulas’ three flavors of whey protein products (Chocolate, Vanilla and Unflavored) are nutritionally appropriate and in the amount generally expected in this food — less than 10 microgram per serving (25 grams). This is roughly the amount of selenium naturally found in one egg and far below the U.S. recommended daily allowances (RDA) of 70 micrograms per day for men and 55 micrograms per day for women, allowing for intake from other foods.
“Selenium is an essential trace element in human nutrition,” says Kevin Connolly, Ph.D., Biochemistry, Director of Scientific Affairs, Clinical Trials, and Product Development at Jarrow Formulas. “Selenium is naturally present in foods, such as grains and grasses and in the meat and milk products of animals that consume these sources. Deficiencies have been associated with an increased risk of atherosclerosis, enlarged heart, some cancers, bone and joint diseases, as well as in supporting immune function.”
Dr. Connolly notes that even daily doses of up to 900 mcg per day of selenium have exhibited no observable adverse effects. Moreover, he raises the real concern of not getting enough selenium in the diet, stating, “A deficiency in dietary selenium has been reported in certain parts of China. Keshan Disease, enlargement of the heart cavity eventually leading to congestive heart failure, and Kashin-Beck’s disease, a developmental skeletal disorder, are both related to selenium deficiency.”
Jarrow L. Rogovin, the founder, President and Chairman of the company that bears his name, stated, “The source for our whey is a major dairy producer in Wisconsin and these major dairy companies sell large quantities of the same ingredient to China, along with other American producers of whey. The accusation against our company was due to either an unfortunate lack of understanding about selenium food chemistry or an unfortunate error in political judgment. Our company is famous for quality and safety and that is why reputable Chinese companies who seek the best products for their customers come to us. We are very proud of our relationships with these dynamic companies in China.”
Jarrow Formulas®, Inc. is a nutritional supplement formulator and marketer founded in 1977. The company promotes good nutrition and wellness, is dedicated to providing high quality and superior nutritional products and is committed to nutritional research. All of its products are under strict quality control and meet or exceed U.S. standards for dietary and nutritional supplements. Its products are manufactured by Jarrow Industries Incorporated, a GMP-certified, pharmaceutical quality facility located in Santa Fe Springs, CA. For more information, contact Mark Becker, Director, Advertising/Communications toll free at (800) 726-0886 or access the Jarrow Formulas’ Web site at www.Jarrow.com.