The scary sounding “warning” has nothing to do with the purity of your supplements! A poorly written California law is being abused and to survive natural foods companies are being forced to print this disturbing warning on perfectly healthy foods. Below you will find helpful information about the current law and how it affects you.
What the law says:
In 1986, California voters approved an initiative to address their growing concerns about exposure to toxic chemicals. That initiative became the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, better known by its original name of Proposition 65. Proposition 65 requires the State to publish a list of chemicals known to cause cancer or birth defects or other reproductive harm. This list, which must be updated at least once a year, has grown to include approximately 800 chemicals since it was first published in 1987.
Businesses are required to provide a “clear and reasonable” warning before knowingly and intentionally exposing anyone to a listed chemical. If a warning is placed on a product label or posted, the business issuing the warning is aware or believes that one or more listed chemicals is present. By law, a warning must be given for listed chemicals unless exposure is low enough to pose no significant risk of cancer or is significantly below levels observed to cause birth defects or other reproductive harm.
Businesses are not required to provide the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) with any information regarding their decision to provide a Proposition 65 warning. This decision is made by each business based on its knowledge of the types of chemical exposures it is responsible for causing to individuals. A business has the burden of proving a warning is not required and determining anticipated levels of exposure to listed chemicals can be very complex. A Proposition 65 warning does not necessarily mean a product is in violation of any product-safety standards or requirements. For additional information about the warning, contact the product manufacturer.
Visit OEHHA.ca.gov for more information
How the law is being abused:
Like any living food grown on clean organic certified soil, superfoods contain naturally occurring minerals in trace quantities. Even “chemicals” that we think of as toxic, elements like lead and cadmium, are naturally occurring in the Earth’s soil and are present in everyday foods like carrots, beets, and chocolate.
California’s Proposition 65 is the most stringent purity standard in the world… perhaps too stringent. You will often see a Prop 65 warning on products even when the chemicals are present at levels a thousand times lower than those considered safe by the FDA, EPA, and WHO.
FDA and EPA recommend that adults not consume more than 75 micrograms of Lead per day. Yet Prop 65 requires a label for anything that contains 0.5 micrograms per serving. For reference, according to the FDA, 1 cup of carrots typically contains about .14 micrograms of lead. When grown in soil with a moderate lead content (500 ppm), spinach and radishes can have lead levels that exceed 3 micrograms/gram, while beets and carrots can exceed 6 micrograms/gram.
Since dehydrated foods lose as much as 90% of their water when dehydrated, making their levels of lead and other chemicals seemingly higher than in fresh foods. This is why many herbs and superfoods now have to bear the Prop 65 warning. Even when a superfood is clearly within Federal and International safety levels, the slightest chance that there will be a trigger level of any of the other 800 compounds on the list means that printing a Prop 65 warning is the only way to avoid expensive lawsuits.
Prop 65 puts almost all of the burden of proof on manufacturers. For example, instead of requiring a plaintiff to show that the warning is required, the manufacturer is required to show that the warning is NOT required. It is extremely expensive for a company to prove that a substance is below the Prop 65 threshold, so it’s cheaper to print the warning. In order to stay in business, many companies preemptively post the Prop 65 warning even if they believe the chemicals are safe, simply because the risk of NOT posting the warning is too great.
Visit EssentialLivingFoods.com for more information
We hope you have found this information informative and helpful. Please note The Reference Point is NOT the one making Prop 65 claims or warning labels. If you have further questions about a label on any of your products please contact the manufacture for more information.
Anankha & Staff at The Reference Point