I have said for years that chlorella and spirulina from China should be viewed suspiciously for several reasons.
- They are notoriously high in heavy metals. When Japan industrialized in the 1970’s, it was exposed to tremendous amounts of mercury which caused mercury poisoning. China is experiencing the same phenomena today. And with such a large and cumbersome population, China has created one of the most polluted environments in the world. Algae grown in this type of environment will also contain those toxins.
- They are notorious for presenting falsified Organic Certification when their production plants have not even been inspected. The FDA has been aware of this problem for years and the algae industry is hurt by this falsification. Challenging these companies on their efficacy has resulted in no changes in their illegal actions. The Chinese government has refused to intervene to stop them. Falsifying Organic Certification only occurs in China and has become one of the biggest problems in the algae industry.
- They use gigantic spray driers and produce huge amounts of Spirulina at once, harvesting only two or three times each year instead of bi-monthly.
- Their Spirulina and Chlorella contain so much bacteria that they are forced to irradiate it, which destroy a lot of the nutrients.
Here is the link from the FDA warning letter: http://www.fda.gov/ICECI/EnforcementActions/WarningLetters/ucm217574.htm
“FDA is concerned with the possible effects of the radiation on the nutrients in the food, the production of radiolytic byproducts, and the potential effect of radiation on the microbiological profile of the food. Any of these issues could raise health concerns with your irradiated products.”
Here are the things to consider when purchasing Chlorella, Spirulina or other algae.
- Cultivated in a controlled environment and not harvested from a lake.
- It should be constantly produced so it is fresh. Many producers, especially in China, produce Chlorella and Spirulina twice a year and then store it for the rest of the year. By the time it makes it to the market it can be as much as one year old. Freshness is obligatory when it comes to anything that has been powdered such as Spirulina, Chlorella or herbs such as Maca or Mucuna.
- It must be powdered immediately after being produced.
- Each batch must come with a Certificate of Analysis (COA). This is nearly impossible to get from most producers. Most resellers don’t even know what a COA is.
- It must be cleaned, powdered and packed in a sterile environment.
The best Chlorella and Spirulina are currently grown in Taiwan, India and Hawaii. Be wary of anything produced in China. The Watershed Wellness Center only sells products that come from production facilities that it has produced.