The report “Clear Evidence of Carcinogenic Activity by a Whole Leaf Extract of Aloe barbadenis Miller (Aloe vera) in F344/N Rats” (Toxicol Sci. 2013 Jan;131(1):26–39) omits a vital test-material qualifier from the title and throughout the article. The research was conducted on nondecolorized aloe vera whole leaf extract, and inclusion of the term nondecolorized in the description of the tested plant material is essential to ensure that it is accurately identified.

This descriptive qualifier has been included in all previous publications issued by the National Toxicology Program (NTP) on this research, including NTP’s draft Technical Report, TR 577. The cited article represents exactly the same research. Failure to disclose this important distinction in the identity of the tested ingredient is simply inaccurate and grossly misleading.

This distinction is important because decolorized aloe vera leaf products containing less than 10 ppm aloin are the industry standard. The test material description by the authors erroneously implies that this material’s chemistry is consistent with marketplace aloe vera products that are latex poor.

In brief, the difference between a decolorized whole leaf extract and a nondecolorized one is that latex anthrones and anthraquinones, some of which have been shown to be carcinogenic, have been removed in decolorized whole leaf extracts of aloe vera. The aloin A content of the test material is identified in TR 577 at approximately 6500 ppm, a figure that approximately doubles when the content of aloin B is considered. This represents a total aloin content more than 1000 times greater than the industry standard.

The test material reported on in the published research, as has been well recognized in all previous published accounts, is not representative of the marketplace standard. In failing to identify the test article as nondecolorized, this article presents an inaccurate and misleading impression of the test article and implies that commercial products were studied. Standards of scientific integrity suggest a corrigendum in order for the same care earlier attended in describing the test material be carried forward to the current publication.