The US Food and Drug Administration has alerted the public in regards to spiking of nutritional supplements with pharmaceuticals and the like.
or the Health Canada site for warnings:
So it is buyer beware. You need to take caution with what you are taking in terms of nutritional supplements and natural products. There are many products in both Canada and the United States which have been recalled for just these reasons.
So how do you protect yourself?
First and foremost is to purchase from a reputable supplier. The next is to look for the natural product license number on the label. This tells you that the Natural Health Products Directorate (NHPD) in Canada has assessed the product and the company has been granted a license to sell this product based upon the NHPD reviewing and agreeing to the safety and the effectiveness of the product for the claims being made on the product. A company is required to be able to provide the NHPD with proof that they are testing the product according to the requirements set out in their license. Therefore, you should feel confident that products with an NPN are doing what they say and contain no harmful contaminants. Manufactures of NPN products must also have a site license which is issued to them by the NHPD after a though review of documentation to provide evidence that the company follows strict Good Manufacturing Practices as set out by the NHPD.
As part of its commitment to the safety of its products tests, Direct NutriSciences tests every single lot of product produced to ensure that it passes the requirements for microbiological safety at a bare minimum. The cause of many food and other product safety recalls is the presence of harmful bacteria or microbiological contaminants.
At Direct NutriSciences, we recently renewed our site license and again met – or exceeded - all requirements. Though food products (such as protein powders) do not require an NPN, many of our supplements have met the requirements and received an NPN. We are committed to have more in future. If there is interest, I will write a future post to give more details on what is the process around getting a product license.