"The US pharmacopeia has been in existence for 184 years and this is the first time a dietary supplement ingredient has achieved USP certification," said Dr Srini Srinivasan, vice president of the USP verification program (USP-IVP).
The program was set up to verify ingredients, such as vitamins, minerals, amino acids and botanical extracts, that are used in the manufacture of dietary supplements around the world.
Eleven of ONC's omega-3 fish oil ingredient products were audited by USP. This process included an independent quality and safety analysis, an on-site good manufacturing practice (GMP) audit, and an analysis of the support documentation tracing the history of each product back to the original raw material source and tracing the production history back three generations.
"The fish oils were tested for the omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), for noxious contaminants such as arsenic, mercury, cadmium, lead, and dioxins and these substances were found to be within acceptable limits," said Srinivasan.
Robert Orr, president of ONC, used the announcement of the certification to express his hope that it would increase consumer confidence in fish oil products.
"We believe that only the highest quality standards will build consumer trust and confidence in the integrity and quality not only of our products, but the entire dietary supplement sector," he said.
Ocean Nutrition Canada, a subsidiary of Clearwater Fine Foods, manufactures omega-3 concentrates and other marine-based ingredients for the dietary supplement and functional food markets.