PORTLAND, Ore., May 20, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Kirkman, one of the most respected names in dietary supplements, is raising the bar in consumer safety. This month, the company unveiled Ultra Tested, a new product line that offers the highest degree of purity testing in the $26 billion nutraceutical industry.
In addition to standard purity tests, Ultra Tested products will be screened for more than 950 potentially harmful environmental contaminants, including pesticides, fungicides, insecticides, biocides, endocrine disruptors and other chemicals. Kirkman plans to apply the Ultra Tested protocol to all its products by the end of summer 2011.
Kirkman's President David Humphrey explained that their decision to take on the extensive testing protocol is based on recent studies connecting environmental toxins to increased health problems, especially for children. Kirkman, a 62 year-old company, specializes in nutritional supplements for individuals with special dietary requirements and environmental sensitivities.
"Testing for pesticides and chemicals is uncommon in our industry. However, there is strong evidence that environmental toxins are making kids chronically sick and may be lowering the IQs of generations," Humphrey said.
According to a 2010 study of herbal dietary supplements by the Government Accountability Office, 16 of the 40 supplements tested contained pesticide residues that exceeded legal limits.
Eighty percent of the raw ingredients used in pharmaceutical and nutraceutical products now come from overseas, primarily China, according to Humphrey. "Supplement companies can't really tell you what's in their products unless they do the kind of extensive testing that Ultra Tested offers," Humphrey emphasized.
Kirkman's testing regimen is conducted on state-of-the-art equipment that performs functions including near-infrared spectroscopy, ICP-mass spectrometry, liquid chromatography-quadruple mass spectrometry, and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry.
Skip Kingston, Ph.D., professor of analytical chemistry at Duquesne University, helped develop the standards that Kirkman will use for testing. Kingston is one of the leading experts in the world on the use of mass spectrometry as it relates to environmental health measurements for human diseases.
"Kirkman should be commended on pioneering this high standard of purity testing in the dietary supplement industry," Kingston said. "Hopefully, other nutritional companies will follow suit."