The magazine then concluded that people should source the majority of their protein from foods and not supplements, a conclusion backed by the American Dietetic Association, which said supplements should be, “used sparingly”.
Consumer Reports warned typical usage of the products could lead to consumption of arsenic, cadmium, lead and mercury at levels exceeding limits advised in the US Pharmacopeia.
But New York-based food and drug attorney Marc Ullman wondered why the industry in question was not doing more to defend its quarter – especially as such stories had the potential to go viral and provide easy fodder for the mainstream press.
“In theory this is an isolated problem, but as these things tend to do, it has morphed into a critique of the entire protein drink category and a larger 'warning' against supplements in general,” he said.
“The failure of the protein drink/sports drink category to get ahead of this indicates a failure to recognize the potential that stories like this have to damage all of their businesses.”
The three products were Muscle Milk chocolate and vanilla powder and EAS Myoplex Original.
"We really hope that there will be more oversight at the federal level to ensure that not only
protein drinks but other dietary supplements are consistently low in these heavy metals and other contaminants," Consumer Reports said. "There really does have to be more done to ensure that they're evaluated before they're actually sold to people."