TESTING CONFIRMS MUSCLE MILK SAFETY
June 3, 2010
An article appearing in the July 2010 Consumer Reports publication regarding protein drinks brought into question the advisability of consuming protein drinks instead of ingesting regular food sources of protein because of the possibility of ingesting unsafe levels of certain heavy metals. Trace levels of these elements are naturally found in the environment and in many foods & beverages we consume daily; such as shellfish, potatoes, rice, leafy greens, avocados, honey, raisins, cottage cheese, red wine, and many more.
The article presents the test results of fifteen sampled protein products, three of which are Muscle Milk products. The test results concluded that three servings a day of Muscle Milk powdered Chocolate or Vanilla Crème (210 grams), almost a half a pound of powder, were shown to exceed the proposed maximum daily limits of cadmium and lead.
This Muscle Milk powdered 3-serving test weight amount (210 grams) was 84% more product than the average 3-serving test weight of the eleven other companies’ products tested. In essence, Consumer Reports used almost twice as much Muscle Milk powder than the average weight of the other 11 companies’ powdered brands tested.
It should also be noted that skewing the Consumer Reports test results even further is the fact that Consumer Reports inexplicably chose to apply the purposed limits of the United States Pharmacopeia (USP) permitted daily exposure (PDE) limits calculated using a body weight of 50 kg or 110 lbs. The Reference Man is typically 70 kg or 154 lbs. The average US adult male is 195 lbs and the average adult female is 165 lbs (McDowell MA et al. Anthropometric Reference Data for Children and Adults: United States, 2003-2006. USDHHS, CDC, and Nat’l Ctr. for Health Statistics (10/22/08)). That weight is still short of the average weight of our target, intended, heavy workout user for which Muscle Milk powder is clearly marketed in the health food stores and gym markets.
Importantly, the tests underscored the fact that Muscle Milk Chocolate liquid shakes, by far and away our company’s most popular consumer form of Muscle Milk, did not exceed the proposed maximum levels of any heavy metals tested, even when used three times per day. Muscle Milk liquid protein shakes, or RTDs (ready-to-drinks), are the most popular and fastest growing protein products in the entire US enhanced beverage market. Muscle Milk bottles and tetra-paks (juice packs) are available in grocery, drug, convenience/gas, and mass market locations nationwide.
Independent, certified third-party testing reconfirms that Muscle Milk liquid, ready-to-drink products, when used responsibly up to two times per day as part of a balanced diet, do not exceed the levels of these heavy metals as proposed by the USP, and discussed in the Consumer Reports article.
Active, health conscious consumers increasingly find Muscle Milk ready-to-drink shakes a quick, easy, convenient and cost-effective way to get the added protein they’re looking for to support their active lifestyles, while reducing the unwanted carbohydrates, fat and cholesterol that often accompany proteins from common food sources.
The Consumer Reports article suggests three other potential food sources with 25g of protein (3 glasses of Whole Milk, 4 oz Chicken Breast, 3 Scrambled Eggs). The article failed to mention that those three sources also contain the following undesired nutrients:
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:
Food Item vs. Lead Content per Serving (mcg= 1 millionth of a gram):
As an industry leader in quality nutritional products, CytoSport maintains the highest commitment to compliance with all current Good Manufacturing Practices (“cGMPs”) for food supplements. CytoSport's customers can be confident that our products contain only the highest quality ingredients and are made in the safest manner possible.
FOR MORE INFORMATION IN RESPONSE TO THE CONSUMER REPORTS ARTICLE, PLEASE READ BELOW
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.
FOR MORE INFORMATION IN RESPONSE TO THE CONSUMER REPORTS ARTICLE, PLEASE READ BELOW
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 30, 2010
STATEMENT BY GREG PICKETT
FOUNDER CYTOSPORT™, INC.
Benicia, CA – Greg Pickett, Founder of CytoSport, Inc. today issued the following statement:
CytoSport is a family-run business built on a culture of creating products that are completely safe, effective and trusted by our loyal customers across the country. CytoSport’s devoted following of consumers includes high school, college and pro-athletes, coaches and everyday active people. It is our company mission to do everything possible to ensure that our products are superior in quality, reliability, authenticity and safety.
We work to meet our very high standards in several ways. Our wholly owned and operated manufacturing and packaging facility is state-of-the-art. Additionally, our products are rigorously tested by both us and independent third party agencies including NSF International to ensure their safety and efficacy. NSF International, an independent, not-for-profit, non-governmental organization, is a world leader in standards development, product certification, education, and risk-management for public health and safety. NSF International is the recognized nutritional supplement certifying body for the athletic market, including the NFL, Major League Baseball, PGA, LPGA and others.
A recent Consumer Reports article raised questions concerning potential exposure to contaminants in a variety of protein drinks, including two CytoSport products, Muscle Milk Chocolate and Muscle Milk Vanilla Crème, if they are consumed frequently (3 or more per day). The article does not identify the lab that tested these products nor disclosed its test methodology. In the coming days and weeks, we will seek to carefully scrutinize the study in order to ensure our products’ quality. However, we do note the following, which raise serious questions about this particular lab’s tests:
1. Muscle Milk Chocolate and Muscle Milk Vanilla Crème have been independently tested and certified to meet NSF/ANSI Standard 173- Dietary Supplement – the recognized industry standard for dietary facilities.
2. The samples of Muscle Milk Chocolate and Muscle Milk Vanilla Crème (the two CytoSport products referenced in the article) were analyzed by NSF International and found to pass NSF/ANSI 173 standards for contaminants based on NSF’s validated test methods. Of the 15 products mentioned in the Consumer Reports article, Muscle Milk Chocolate and Vanilla Crème powders are the only products third party tested and certified by NSF International.
3. NSF International reported that their own test results “do not reflect the concentrations stated in the Consumer Reports article. NSF International uses validated test methods and is confident in the test results and its certifications.” [For the complete statement by the NSF, The Public Health and Safety Company, regarding Consumer Reports article on protein drinks please see
For more information on NSF International and their Dietary Supplement testing certification programs, please visit
4. Finally, it must not be overlooked that the substances tested by Consumer Reports are naturally occurring in the environment, and it would be uncommon, if not impossible, not to detect the trace amounts reportedly found in any agricultural product, such as dairy products, fruits and vegetables.
CytoSport stands firmly behind the quality and safety of our products. We are proud to have met the rigorous, credible testing methods of NSF International – developer of the only American national standard for dietary supplements and an accredited, independent, leader in standards development – because of our products’ safety and quality. We will continue to make every effort to assure that our products are superior in quality, reliability, authenticity and safety.
To view a printable PDF of this press release, click here.
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