Are claims of protein powder having traces of heavy metals in them true?
Given our brand is as much about Not 1R Approved, and being smart and safe with supplements as it is about making you a better athlete through taking them, it seemed important to address the Consumer Reports article that came out last week. Yup, the one about protein that suggested Muscle Milk has elevated levels of lead and arsenic in it. You can find the abstract of the article here, but you’ll have to pay for the article to read it in its entirety.
Our parents sent along the article. Our friends sent along the article. Some of our contributors even sent along the article. It clearly caused a to-do, because, well, yeah... words like lead and arsenic will cause a to-do. So, we got to researching, because we obviously carry some of the products mentioned in the report, and because frankly, we frequently use some of those products ourselves.
The primary culprit cited by Consumer Reports was Muscle Milk (made by CytoSport). We decided it would make sense to give them a ring to see what they had to say, but in visiting their site for a relevant customer service phone number, we found this response from CEO and Founder Greg Pickett.
Please give their response a read. It's balanced, well-thought out, and defensible. They do an excellent job of rebutting and refuting the report. In essence their argument is that trace levels of these elements are found naturally in the environment and that Consumer Reports used almost twice as much Muscle Milk powder than the average weight of the other 11 companies’ powdered brands tested. Essentially the data was skewed in order to make headlines.
Obviously, if you should have any further questions on the report, or on CytoSport's response, don't hesitate to send them our way. We'll do our very best to answer them well.
We don't live in a retail bubble. We know the supplement industry has a ton of problems. It's frankly why we exist. But we do believe there are a number of manufacturers doing the right thing from a standards perspective, and don't believe it's necessarily fair to change testing variables to deliver a buzzworthy headline. We believe Cytosport consistently tries to do the right thing, which is why we’ll continue to support, and sell, their protein products.
Thanks, as always, for reading and supporting the only NCAA-legal supplement retailer out there.