According to Reuters a group of three non-profits, including a California nonprofit organization, has filed papers suing fish oil manufacturers and pharmacies that sell the popular supplement, fish oil. They the manufacturers and pharmacies did not properly disclose the toxicity of the fish oil.

The legal claim, filed Tuesday in a San Francisco Superior Court, claims that the makers and sellers of certain supplements, fish oil, were found to contain high levels of PCB compounds and have failed to alert consumers as required under California’s right-to-know law. There are no current restrictions limiting the amount of PCBs that can actually be present in fish oil!

The Mateel Environmental Justice Foundation, one of three named plaintiffs, tested 10 fish oil supplements out of more than 100 on the market. The other plaintiffs in the case are New Jersey residents.

Defendants include the world’s largest producer of omega-3 fish oil, Houston-based Omega Protein (OME.N), as well as drug stores Rite Aid Corp (RAD.N) and CVS Caremark Corp (CVS.N) as well as General Nutrition Corp, a subsidiary of GNC Acquisition Holdings Corp, Now Health Group Inc, Pharmavite LLC, the maker of the NatureMade brand of supplements, Solgar Inc and TwinLab Corp. ) .

David Roe, the plaintiff’s attorney claimed, “The people buying these fish oil supplements are not being told the PCBs are there,” People consume fish oil supplements for the health benefits obtained from omega-3 fatty acids, but there are currently no standards for PCB contamination in fish oil in the United States, according to Roe.

Fish oil is on many prostate cancer survivor’s must take list, so this disclosure is of particular concern to all of us.

Bottom line, we are damned if we do and damned if we don’t!

Joel T Nowak, MA, MSW