Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Fish Oil Supplements Can Cause Cancer, Manufacturers Sued

Being healthy is an ideal goal for most people and for people who wanted to be fit and fabulous, regular exercise, a healthy diet and vitamins like fish oil supplements are necessary to achieve that goal.

But health buffs who have included fish oil supplements in their diet however, would be aghast to find out that at least 10 types of fish and shark oil supplements contain polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB), a toxic substance that may cause cancer.

An environmental organization, Mateel Environmental Justice Foundation sued manufacturers such as Solgar, Now Health Group, GNC, Omega Protein Inc., Twinlab and Rite Aid. The following are the products tested for PCBs:

• Nature Made cod liver oil and odorless fish oil
• Twinlab Norwegian cod liver oil and emulsified Norwegian cod liver oil
• Now Foods shark liver oil, double strength cod liver oil and salmon oil
• Solgar 100 percent pure Norwegian shark liver oil complex and Norwegian cod liver oil
• GNC liquid Norwegian cod liver oil

The lawsuit is anchored on California's Property 65 which requires that manufacturers should warn consumers about products contain toxic ingredients.

PCBs have been banned for more than 30 years ago after scientists found that exposure to the compound was linked with cancer, reproductive problems and damage to the nervous system.

Product liability does not only involve defective or dangerous cars, toys, and a smorgasbord of other goods, it also extends to medicine or pharmaceutical products. Under the law, all product manufacturers have a duty to produce safe products and protect consumers from any hazard associated with its use.

The doctrine of strict liability is applicable for defective products and dangerous drugs like fish oil supplements – this means that regardless of whether or not the manufacturer was negligent in the manufacture or design of the product, they are liable for any injury incurred by the consumer of their products.

If for example, a person who has been taking fish oil supplements for years discovers that he/she has cancer and this is attributed to taking the said medicine, the consumer can rightfully file a claim for damages under personal injury law. In case of death, his decedents may likewise file a case of wrongful death against the manufacturing company who is responsible for selling such dangerous products out in the market.