Forget buyer beware; Ascenta Health puts consumer safety first with new product testing program - an industry first



    HALIFAX, Nov. 28 /CNW/ - With product recalls steeply on the rise across
North America, Canada's leading developer of omega-3 fish oil supplements,
Ascenta Health Ltd., announced today a new quality guarantee program that
exceeds industry regulations for product testing, saying it is time for more
social responsibility.
    Consumers are increasingly aware of the benefits of omega-3
supplementation for cardiovascular, mental and joint health. With so many
omega-3 products in the market, however, it is hard for them to know who to
trust for quality. Recent recalls of omega-3 supplements include two major
ones by UK companies Seven Seas and Boots due to excessive dioxin levels found
in their products.
    In Canada, all natural health products must be regulated and tested for
impurities and contaminants but, once a company has an approved quality
program and has proven their product is safe, there is no minimum requirement
for continued testing. Ascenta Health President Marc St-Onge believes current
standards set a strong benchmark for companies, but he also feels
manufacturers should apply their own set of values to their business
practices.
    "At Ascenta, we believe that being an industry leader carries with it
certain responsibilities around quality, accountability and ethical business
practice," says St-Onge. "We take these responsibilities very seriously.
That's why we don't just meet industry regulations for product testing; we
exceed them."
    Ascenta is the only manufacturer of fish oil supplements to put every
product batch through independent testing to certify quality, purity and label
claims. Every batch is molecularly distilled and tested for over
400 contaminants at the highest detection levels. Test results are then posted
at ascentahealth.com for consumers to see.
    "When people are choosing a natural health supplement, they want a
product they can trust to be safe and effective. Ascenta delivers on both, now
more than ever," says Dr. Bryce Wylde, homeopathic doctor and functional
medicine nutritionist. "That's not the case with every product out there."
    Industry experts estimate 80% of fish oil products on the market are not
third-party tested for label claims or contaminants, and labs have uncovered
that several products do not meet label claims. St-Onge says Ascenta Health is
not prepared to take that risk.

    Headquartered in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Ascenta Health develops omega-3
supplements under the NutraSea and OmegaSmooth brands sold throughout
North America, the UK, India and Taiwan. In Canada, NutraSea has a dominant
43% market share.




For further information:

For further information: Karen Theriault, Public Relations, (902)
428-4226, karen.theriault@cossette.com

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