Update: EAS, CytoSport Issue Statements Regarding Heavy Metals in Myoplex / Muscle Milk Products

EAS and CytoSport have issued remarkably similar statements on their sites regarding the issue of heavy metals being found in some of their protein supplements – something that I commented on earlier today.

From EAS we have this:

To our EAS Myoplex Original customers:

A recent Consumer Reports story (July 2010 issue) raised questions about the trace levels of cadmium and arsenic found in popular protein shakes including our Myoplex® Original Rich Dark Chocolate shakes. We want to assure you that there is no safety risk from the trace levels of cadmium and arsenic in Myoplex protein shakes.

Consumer Reports testing was based on consumption of three shakes per day and the testing applied proposed U.S. Pharmacopeia standards — not current, accepted or approved guidelines. Our recommended up to two servings of Myoplex daily, as stated on the label, is well below the current accepted standards and below the proposed U.S. Pharmacopeia limits.

Trace levels of these elements are naturally found in the environment and in many foods we eat daily (such as shellfish, potatoes, rice, and leafy greens). We conduct extensive testing to ensure the quality of our products. Each time the shakes have been tested for elements, such as arsenic and cadmium, the results are below the limit of all current, well-established safety standards.

You can continue to use Myoplex shakes with confidence. If you have questions about how much protein is appropriate for your needs, you should talk to your doctor or other health care professional.

And from CytoSport we have this:

“To Our CytoSport Muscle Milk Customers,

A recent Consumer Reports story raised questions about the trace levels of cadmium and lead found in popular protein shakes including CytoSport Muscle Milk Chocolate and Vanilla Créme powdered shakes. We want to assure you that there is no safety risk from the responsible use of CytoSport Muscle Milk protein shakes.

Consumer Reports testing was based on consumption of three shakes per day and the testing applied proposed U.S Pharmacopeia standards – not current, accepted or approved guidelines. Our recommended up to two servings of Muscle Milk daily, as stated on the label, is well below the current accepted standards and below the proposed U.S. Pharmacopeia limits.

Trace levels of these elements are naturally found in the environment and in many foods we eat daily (such as shellfish, potatoes, rice, and leafy greens). We conduct extensive testing to ensure the quality of our products. Each time the shakes have been tested for elements, such as cadmium and lead, the results are below the limit of all current, well-established safety standards.

You can continue to use Muscle Milk shakes with confidence. To calculate your estimated daily protein needs, please use the protein calculator by clicking on the image below (pop-up window). If you have questions about how much protein is appropriate for your needs, you should talk to your doctor or a licensed nutritionist.”

There’s obviously no coincidence behind the similarity of these statements, and whether that’s due to these companies discussing matters with each other or just having the same legal / PR advisors, I don’t know.

I do think, however, that they have a point. These companies have not asked you to take three servings a day – they recommend two. With two servings, they are not over the proposed limit by the US Pharmacopeia – and that is what it is: a proposed limit.

Still, this probably isn’t an issue that is going die that easily – I guess a lot of us are going to follow this with interest – and perhaps with the hope that manufacturers will do their absolute best to ensure that what they’re asking us to EAT is not contaminated with something that could put our health at serious risk.

Comments

  1. Tone says:

    I’m a Chemist and there should NOT be ANY acceptable level of intake of either Arsenic or Cadmium. People – wake up! Cadmium is in batteries + look up gradual Arsenic poisoning! CytoSport/MuscleMilk – You’re fired as my protein supplier. Hello Jay Robb for 100% clean Whey Protein. End of story!

  2. Tony says:

    Ok site moderator – I submitted a reasonably worded comment which was pending yesterday and I don’t see it here today. Is having a Chemist’s comments regarding this debacle too damning for your business? Perhaps you don’t get any free product or ad business from Jay Robb so you decided to nix the comment? I’d like to know. Feel free to respond.
    TK

  3. Ron Jonassis says:

    Tony,

    Thanks for your comments. As you probably know, because of all the the spam that sites like this tend to get, the software we use require us to manually approve all comments from new users. That usually gets done within a few hours, but this time – due to my travel schedule, which is pretty busy at the moment – it took a little longer, and for that I’m sorry. I certainly appreciate your input on this subject, and no, it’s certainly not damning for this little business to have well informed people commenting and raising awareness on issues like this, as it adds to the quality of the site.

    As for Jay Robb…. No, unfortunately, no free products from him (or anyone else, for that matter). I personally love Jay Robb’s whey protein products, though, so you can expect to see some posts on those here very soon. I’ve been recommending his stuff for some time now, not just here – yet! :)

    Thanks again, Tony.

    Ron

  4. Borked says:

    When I went to the Cytosport website, their press release about heavy metals was 100% different from the press release by EAS and the one you’ve shown here. Your misleading post only further confuses the issue. No thanks.

  5. Ron Jonassis says:

    Borked,

    Heh. So it never, ever occured to you that they might have changed their statement since this post was made? :)

  6. louis says:

    Actually, the Cytosport press release has an update. The original text, posted here, is towards the bottom. So, Borked, you just needed to scroll a little further down.

    As for their update, it’s unfortunate that they took the opportunity to skew their data. Cytosport’s chart plays with the numbers to make a point. e.g, 3 scrambled eggs would only have 376 calories if you used butter to make them. A large egg has about 90 calories. 3 eggs, would be under one 14oz. MuscleMilk (where does Cytosport get 25g as the protein from 3 eggs, anyway? It’s only about 18-20g). Perhaps they played with the numbers to generate an equal amount of protein for each food listed? If that’s the case, they should show that they’re using 4 eggs, not 3.

    CR recommends a 3oz chicken breast; Cytosport lists it as 4oz. Cytosport doesn’t play w/ the numbers, but this was obviously not well copy-edited.

    CR is foolish in recommending whole milk, however. Who recommends whole milk to anyone over 2 years of age? Besides, Cytosport does play w/ these numbers. 8oz of whole milk is about 150cal, not 161cal. The fat is 24g, not 26g. But, perhaps, again, they were using the amount of milk that it takes to get to 25g of protein (as 3 cups would only reach 24g).

    Cytosports’s point about the person’s weight assumed by the USP is a good one, but since they played w/ the numbers in the chart, I don’t have much confidence in that statement without having to do my own research. But one specious argument they give is the powder weight one. If MuscleMilk’s serving size is two scoops of powder, that’s what people are going to use. They’re not going to compare the powder weight with competing proteins and say, “I’m just using 100g of powder, no matter what the protein content is.” I found this a most ridiculous defense. It seems like a kid who just broke a window pointing to his friends and saying, “They broke a one around the corner! Why are you picking on me?”

    Thanks for posting on this.

  7. michelle says:

    as a person whom was sooooo sick from these products mostly eas myoplex premade shakes stay away stay away I thought I was going 2 die,I was glad they figured wt was making me so sick and that among other cases led to myoplex and other co. making statements , take it if you want to but it’s real dangerous you have been warned…

  8. Todd says:

    While we’re at it, let’s stop smoking. By the way, chemist does not equal, Doctor, Registered Dietician, Endocrinologist or Biologist.

    While I agree they whould minimize the amounts of these elements in their proteins, I wonder how much is in everything else we eat that is unhealthy.

    @michelle

    Are you saying your were diagnosed with cadmium or arsenic poisoning from myoplex??? No those cases I would like to see. People actually diagnosed with cadmium or arsenic poisoning from these products.

  9. virg says:

    there is no way to completely remove arsenic, lead, or cadmium from the water we drink or the food we eat. there are allowable levels of all of these in our drinking water:
    http://www.organicconsumers.org/corp/arsenic.cfm
    http://www.aquasanastore.com/water-facts_b04.html
    http://water.epa.gov/drink/contaminants/index.cfm#List

    that being said, since muscle milk is in the business of promoting health, they should strive to have their products be waaaay below the allowable levels of these contaminants, since we are all already getting a hefty dose of them through our drinking water and other foods.

  10. jo says:

    A tempest in a teapot. Cook in a saucepan made in China by one of our outstanding patriotic citizen corporations, and some trace amounts of metals found in whey drinks will be the least of your worries. I’m not saying that EAS shouldn’t try harder–they should because they otherwise make a pretty good product–but I’m saying that a little perspective goes a lot farther in the common sense department than knee-jerk hysteria.

  11. Terp says:

    I think the larger point that could be made is that Optimum Nutrition and a couple of others were also on the list, but well within the accepted parameters and often having 1/10th or less than Muscle Milk and the other criminals.

    In fact, for some of the categories (lead, for example) there were no traces in some brands, yet, once again, Muscle Milk (excuse the pun) ‘lead’ the way.

    Mmmmm, I love the taste of arsenic in the morning! Feel the “pump.” lol

  12. Don says:

    Terp thats pretty nice you love the taste of arsenic in the morning: just drink a glass of water!

  13. Tony says:

    I really don’t care take it out I will only buy the brands that
    have the least amount or zero.
    Many people drink more than 2 servings plus
    this drink is health drink which mean looking for a higher
    standard.
    This consumer reports results are unacceptable and the public reply from the manufactures is unacceptable.

  14. ron says:

    IS MUSCLE MILK SAFE TO DRINK OR NOT FUCKING GIVE A CLEAR ANSWER I JUST BOUGHT A FUCKING TUB AND I DONT WANNA DIE

  15. Ron Jonassis says:

    Ron, long term use may not be great for your health if you use it several times per day, but a tub is not going to kill you. :)

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