November 01, 2013 23:48 ET

Vega Response to Health Canada Advisory About Chloramphenicol Contamination in NHP's

BURNABY, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - Nov. 1, 2013) - It is with great shock and disappointment that we learned of Health Canada's public advisory that specific lots of Vega One and Vega Sport Protein have "potentially serious risks posed to health", as we are confident that our products in question are absolutely safe. We have been actively trying to work with Health Canada to discuss this matter and will continue to do so. However, given that we value each of our consumer's individual feelings about our product, we will accept returns with a full refund. For a listing of product names and lot codes that may contain trace amounts of chloramphenicol, all of which are well below the levels published by Health Canada to be safe for human consumption, click here.


It recently came to our attention that, for a brief period of time, the enzyme ingredient used in our Vega One and Vega Sport Protein contained a trace amount of the antibiotic chloramphenicol (CAP). Vega immediately conducted extensive testing and research to determine any potential health risks. Dr. Jaap Hanekamp , a world recognized expert in chloramphenicol (CAP) research and environmental health sciences was asked to review the affected Vega products specifically. After a detailed analysis, Dr. Hanekamp determined that"The Vega products under review pose no risk whatsoever for consumers over a lifetime of exposure".

To read the full research paper, please click here.

The presence of trace amounts of CAP in foods is not new. In fact, this issue has been addressed previously by Health Canada in 2002 involving honey:

"The CFIA has now completed testing of over 100 samples of the liquid honey and has found uniformly small amounts of contamination with chloramphenicol residues (0.3 to 34.0 parts per billion). Based on new information from other countries and new testing data from the CFIA, there is now added assurance that the residues of the honey in question are uniformly low and pose a low risk.

Health Canada has since refined its advice that people can continue to consume products that may contain honey as the risk is extremely low.

Because the risk from products manufactured with honey, such as bakery products, is extremely low, consumers may continue to eat these products."

We tested our products in various third party laboratories and found our Vega One and Vega Sport Protein contain between 0.42ppb and 1.3ppb (parts per billion) of CAP. The upper most range in the above Health Canada release of 34 ppb is 26 times the highest CAP level found in Vega products. Health Canada has raised the concern about aplastic anemia as a result of CAP ingestion but the science demonstrates that this has only occurred in extremely rare cases at therapeutic doses (125 million times more than what is found in Vega). This has never been documented from residue levels of CAP found in foods.

Vega has been actively working with Health Canada and has provided additional information to assist with their health risk assessment. We understand that there have been several Natural Health Product recalled in Canada recently as a result of trace CAP contamination but all of those products have been digestive aid products which contain enzymes as their sole or primary ingredient. The enzymes in Vega One represent less than 1% of our formulation.

Vega takes the quality and safety of our products very seriously and would never consider selling a product if there was possibility of a health risk. Through all of the research and expert opinions, we at Vega feel 100% confident that our products remain safe and pose no risk to human health. This is why we continue to consume the products ourselves and share with our families.

While we disagree with Health Canada's current position, and have third-party scientific evidence that demonstrates the products in questions are safe for the general public, we are committed to working with our valued customers, consumers, and any retailer, to take back any product from the lot codes listed on our website without question. If you have any questions please reach us at 1-866-839-8863 or email:

About Vega

Since 2001, Vega (previously Sequel Naturals) has established itself as the leader in the plant-based natural health and performance products industry. Good for your body and the planet, Vega is the clean, plant-based choice to fuel your healthy, active lifestyle-without compromise. For more information, please visit

Contact Information