California Proposition 65
We appreciate your concerns about California Proposition 65 warnings. Rest assured, our products are safe. Used for generations, they've never caused any harm whatsoever. The issue is trace amounts of lead, which occur everywhere on Earth in plants and water.
The issue is not confined to Chinese herbs. Every plant medicine contains, and likely always has contained, trace amounts of lead.
Many nations have established standards for lead in herbal medicines. Japan allows 20 parts per million (ppm) for total metals in herbal medicines. The World Health Organization allows 10 ppm for lead. The Australian TGA allows 5 ppm for lead in a product. Germany allows 5 ppm as well. The US Pharmacopoeia has no standards for herbs, but allows 3 ppm in drugs.
Our products test at an average of 1-3 ppm, which is considered safe and incidental by all international standards for medicine. However, California's Proposition 65 requires warning at only 1/2 ppm in food, and in California, herbal medicines are considered food rather than medicine.
We test every batch of our medicines to eliminate any possible contamination. However, herbs grow in the earth and are naturally rich in minerals. Even ours may exceed the amount allowed for food or water. Prop 65 allows the sale of these products, however it requires a warning.
The typical American diet is said to contain 15 – 25 micrograms or more of lead daily, mainly originating in fruits and vegetables. Other environmental exposures can result in up to 200 micrograms consumed daily. A maximum dose of herbal medicine can add 3-15 micrograms of lead per day.
Though these figures may sound high, they are actually quite low. Despite alarms in the media, the lead in our bodies today is actually the lowest in recorded history. Thirty years ago, when lead was in gasoline and most paint, we absorbed five to ten times as much lead as we do today.
Be assured that Dr. Shen products meet all internationally accepted standards for herbal medicines. They remain, as always, the purist and most potent herbal medicines you can buy.
Dr. Shen's Chinese Herbs Staff