It's just in time for a key Senate hearing, set to begin in two weeks, that will decide whether to approve a food safety bill that could clamp down on regulation of such products.
Investigators tested 40 herbal supplements. Of those, 37 contained trace amounts of heavy metals, especially lead, mercury, cadmium and arsenic. The content wasn't enough to exceed safety limits, but it does raise questions about the sterility of the supplement ingredients and the plants where they're produced.
"Consuming high levels of the contaminants for which we tested the 40 products can lead to severe health consequences, such as increased risk of cancer," the report reads, adding that the toxicity depends largely on one's dosage and individual health.
Sixteen of the supplements contained elevated levels of pesticides. Most of those chemicals aren't capped by legal restrictions because of insufficient scientific evidence about their risk to humans.
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