As concerns mount over a possible carcinogen found in popular heartburn medicines, the Food and Drug Administration noted that an outside laboratory that discovered traces of the contaminant used a method “not suitable” for testing. As a result, the agency is suggesting the lab may have generated higher levels of the carcinogen than what might have been found otherwise.

In a brief statement, the FDA contended that Valisure, which alerted agency officials to the presence of NDMA in heartburn pills such as Zantac, used higher temperatures in its testing than methods used by the agency. Consequently, the company, which also runs an online pharmacy, generated “very high levels” of NDMA in samples of the medicines, known as ranitidine, that it tested.

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