How Safe Is Your Protein?

ON's Response to July 2010 Consumer Reports Article, "Alert: Protein Drinks"

A recently released Consumer Reports article in their July 2010 issue titled, "Health Alert: Protein Drinks" included tests conducted on 15 different protein powders for heavy metals (arsenic, cadmium, lead and mercury) in comparison to the U.S. Pharmacopeia's proposed limits for heavy metals in dietary supplement products. In these tests, 3 of the 15 products tested above the U.S. Pharmacopeia's proposed limits for dietary supplements when measured at the 3 serving size, with the assumptions consumers are taking multiple servings/day.

Two Optimum Nutrition products were evaluated in the article, both of which tested well below the proposed U.S. Pharmacopeia limits for heavy metals in dietary supplements, even at the 3 serving level. These 2 ON supplements were Platinum Hydrowhey (Velocity Vanilla flavor) and Gold Standard 100% Whey (Extreme Milk Chocolate flavor). Since Optimum Nutrition's products tested well below the proposed limits, no specific safety issues were raised about either product in the article. Consumers can be assured our products are safe and manufactured to the highest standards, which the results reflect.

Optimum Nutrition products are always made to the highest standards of quality and safety, and have been for nearly 25 years as detailed below:
  • All of our protein products meet U.S. Pharmacopeia's proposed standards for dietary supplements.
  • Before a single machine is turned on we carefully select vendors via an approval program who supply ON with premium raw materials. All vendors must provide a Certificate of Analysis for each raw material as a continued measure of quality. These certificates are then verified through random in-house and independent laboratory testing.
  • ON's finished products are tested by third-party laboratories to ensure their safety and stability as well as their compliance with label claims.
  • Quality Assurance professionals make routine checks on all storage, blending, and production areas and conduct final inspections on all lot codes.
  • ON has been awarded certification by the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF International), a world leader in standards development, product certification, and risk management for public health and safety.
  • ON has consistently received a 'Superior' rating from the esteemed American Institute of Baking (AIB) upon the inspection agency's annual cGMP (current good manufacturing practices) compliance audits of the company's manufacturing facilities. This top rating denotes ON's unsurpassed commitment to food safety.

By comparison, the following average amounts of the metal lead may be found naturally in food, all of which are considered safe, but significantly above the measures of 3 servings of Optimum Nutrition products in the Consumer Reports tests. The U.S. Pharmacopeia proposed limit for lead in dietary supplements was 10mcg (10mcg= 10millionths of a gram):

FDA's publication Total Diet Study Statistics on Element Results (December 11, 2007), which analyzes 200 foods found in grocery stores four times per year, showed the following:

Optimum Nutrition products also tested well below the The U.S. Pharmacopeia proposed limit for arsenic in dietary supplements of 15mcg (15mcg= 15millionths of a gram). Most Importantly, many common foods, including those regularly eaten for protein contained more Arsenic than the amount found in our test results, highlighting the safety of our products.

Optimum Nutrition products also tested well below the U.S. Pharmacopeia proposed limit for Cadmium in dietary supplements of 5mcg (5mcg= 5millionths of a gram). Furthermore, many safe common foods contained more cadmium in the FDA Total Diet Study than the amount found in our test results, highlighting the safety of our products.

As the industry leader in quality nutritional products for nearly 25 years, Optimum Nutrition maintains the highest commitment to compliance with all Food & Drug Administration requirements and current Good Manufacturing Practices ("cGMPs") for food supplements.  Optimum's customers can be confident that our products contain only the best quality ingredients and are made in the safest manner possible.
Leave a Comment
Bob Winners
Jun 02, 2010
Nice to see a company look out for its customers.
Jun 03, 2010
It is good to see ON shown the facts about this study. I am a subscriber of Consumer Reports and typically have no qualms with their reports but this one really hit a nerve. Glad that ON cleared the air about the countless other items that we ingest everyday that contain a higher amount.
Jun 03, 2010
Glad I saw this table at the bottom. I'm sure consumer reports failed to mention the lead content of red wine. Oh well, glad Ive been using ON regardless.
Jun 03, 2010
Keep up the good work. This does worry me, so pls. keep to your high standards. Maybe even beef them up a bit. Thanks.
Matt M
Jun 04, 2010
This is why I believe Optimum nutrition is #1 in the supplement industry. Optimum Nutrition has an almost 25 year track record for quality and superior supplements. I am very proud to put my trust in this great company that puts its customers and quality first. I dont EVER see myself using any other companies products. In my opinion, Optimum Nutrition is the best company and my company of choice.
Jun 04, 2010
Where can we get a full report on ON's heavy metal content test results(including arsenic and cadmium)?
Jun 06, 2010
Who is the "Third Party Company" ON uses to test the final product and how many banned substances and toxins do they test for?
Jun 07, 2010
Thanks for the information above. After hearing about the Consumer Report article on T.V., I was about to throw out a brand new 2 pound container of 100% Gold Standard Natural Whey. Decided to check out your website first. Thanks to your info above, I will continue to purchase your products knowing that other food we eat is higher in metals and arsenic.
santiago fornell
Jun 08, 2010
nice to know a company actually care about the health of its customers not just their money especially me being a teenager and religious drinker of protein shakes.
Jun 08, 2010
I guess it just shows how much knowledge people lack on the food they take in everyday.
Pedro Perez
Jun 10, 2010
Fantastic that you guys responded to the Consumer Reports article. This is why I'm loyal to all Optimum Nutrition product!
Rick De Leon
Jun 13, 2010
Thank you ON!
You just gave me another reason to tell my friends "why" I take ON products!
You're integrity & commitment is undeniable!
Jun 14, 2010
Thanks, ON! I will go ahead and buy that 10-lb container at!
Jun 14, 2010
This article alone has just re-insured my confidence in taking ON products. I was thinking about switching to a different protein, but with all the credibility (especially 3rd party sources), and the vigorous testing and extra safety procedures they do BEFORE they continue to manufacture the products just wiped out all the other competition. NSF AND GMP approved?! That's all I needed to hear to keep taking this product for life!
Justin Z
Jun 16, 2010
Nice to see ON get out in front of this...
Jun 20, 2010
You rock....
Jun 21, 2010
I appreciate ON for looking out for their consumers, this is a great article that ensures consumer confidence.
hoa na
Jun 22, 2010
i bought soy protein chocolate dutch, it say it doesnt contain sugar but when i drink ,it is still sweat .Why ?
Jun 30, 2010
Nice to see an honest company - especially in light of the FDA shut-down of American Sports Nutrition for contamination! We solely use ON now!
Jul 03, 2010
This is why I've stayed with ON Gold Standard Whey for the past 3 years (and plan on using it for years to come) .. integrity and quality!
Jul 06, 2010
I just switched to optimum from one of the products that tested in the danger zone. Think I will start using all optimum products. Thank you for a superior product and no B.S.
Jul 10, 2010
It is nice to see ON addressed the issue with some solid facts. Hats off to ON for making some quality products.
Aug 18, 2010
Thanks! After being an ON consumer for a long time, I read the article in question, then I tried the one brand they highlighted as "lowest" in these metals and it was terrible. Thank you for giving my taste buds a bright future again!
AL in NC
Aug 30, 2010
Thanks ON for doing good follow up without unneccesary negativity toward CR. Yes they should look at the bigger picture. I have yet to buy any products from you guys but I am happy knowing I can buy in confidence now. Keep up the good work!
Oct 13, 2010
I bought Superior AMINO 2222 TABS but date of expiry is not visible can anyone help me how to find date of expiry...?
Oct 23, 2010
optimum nutriton are pretty safe nutrition and i trust the quality of nutrition optimum products are natural and safely to use becasue they care for their customer and dont play with the customer like other companies do my favorite protein drink is gold standard whey awesome natural whey protein for bigners i love it taste greats man
Nov 10, 2010
on is really good company he is always taking care of his customer regarding supplements on really help me a lot to get bigger i love the product gold standard whey its nice in my opininon on products are safer and best to be taken believe in on
Jay P
Feb 01, 2011
its nice to see other test being done. it is also nice to see what is really in are food. however, it would be nice to see all the different protein types to see which one is the best.
but after seeing this article that i found in a forum you can bet my next protein buy will be ON..... thank you!
Feb 21, 2011
thanks op! keep up the good work!
love your products
Apr 10, 2011
Thank you Optimum. Your company has provided the highest quality supplements and I have become a loyal consumer. Keep up the 'gold standard' which you have set in the industry!
Dec 21, 2011
Thanks for sharing. What a plesuare to read!
Sep 19, 2012
ON is the best!
But I'd like to know how I can check if an ON product is original or not? There are lots of fake supplements in my country.
Mar 28, 2013
I'm glad to see this!! I really wish all foods and supplements would be as healthy as possible!!
Apr 06, 2013
The recent price increases have left me wondering whether or not ON is worth the extra money, having read this and verifying against the report I feel a lot better spending the extra.
Jun 13, 2013
how is the whey processed and filtered? also where does it come from. Are growth hormones given to the livestock?
Nov 25, 2013
How to recognize between original and fake package
John Vahas
Feb 28, 2014
Hello. Could you provide us with an external link of some kind of publication related with the research you mention here?

agramoffitness on instagram
Mar 03, 2014
I was just tagged in the article on facebook saying that your protein powder was unsafe... glad I quickly researched for myself! glad to see you guys put our safety first! This article has kept me a customer
Mar 14, 2014
But you dont eat shrimp three times a day, every day.