California Proposition 65
To protect its sourcing partners and business interests, Earthotic, LLC will include the California Proposition 65 WARNING on our product packaging. This WARNING only applies to consumers that live in the state of California.
What is Proposition 65?
In 1986 the California voters approved an initiative called the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act, due to their concerns of over exposure to toxins. This act is now known as Proposition 65 which is a law in California. This law requires the state to publish a list of chemicals, one list of chemicals known to cause cancer and another list known to cause birth defects or other reproductive harm. These two lists are updated once a year and the list has grown to well over 950 chemicals since it was published in 1987.
If your shipping address is within the state of California, you must agree and consent to the following, which applies to products we ship to California:
California Proposition 65 WARNING: Cancer and Reproductive Harm – http://www.P65Warnings.ca.gov/food.
California Proposition 65 WARNING: Consuming this product can expose you to chemicals, including lead, which are known to the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm. For more information go to http://www.P65Warnings.ca.gov/food.
If you would like more information on the Proposition 65, please see http://www.oehha.ca.gov/prop65.html.
Proposition 65 warnings can be found all over California, including restaurants, amusement parks including Disney Land, work environments, parking lots, hospitals, rental properties, dental offices, schools and on many consumer products, including products that are 100% natural and have been certified organic. If a chemical is listed under Proposition 65 as a reproductive toxin or as a carcinogen and has been shown to cause developmental/reproductive toxicity or cancer in laboratory animals, the state of California is required to put those chemicals on the list, even if these chemicals have not been tested on humans. These studies are often performed using very high doses of chemicals.
Who does Proposition 65 Apply to?
Proposition 65 applies to all companies doing business in California and requires them to notify consumers of the presence of any chemical on the Proposition 65 list. The list contains a wide range of naturally occurring as well as synthetic chemicals. These chemicals include ingredients in pesticides, food, drugs, household products and the list go on and includes most products that people use every day.
Please note that Proposition 65 does not ban the sale of a product. It only requires that a warning be added to the product that contains a listed chemical. If products sold in California could expose a resident to one or more of the chemicals on the list, then a “clear and reasonable” warning notice must be on the products label. A note for non-California residents, if a law similar to Proposition 65 could be enforced in the other 49 states, about 95% of the products you buy would have a warning label.
The Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) administers the Proposition 65 program. OEHHA is part of the California EPA, which evaluates scientific information on substances considered for placement on the Proposition 65 list. For more information please visits OEHHA’s website http://www.oehha.org/.
Should I be concerned about a Proposition 65 Warning notice?
It’s understandable that consumers are concerned about these product warnings, but it’s important to understand that just because a product has a warning notice that it does not necessarily mean its harmful. California sets threshold limits far below the “safe” limits set by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), World Health Organization, Environmental Protection Agency and various European Health Agencies. Proposition 65 guidelines are a lot different from federal labeling guidelines. Under federal law if a consumable product contains excessive levels of toxins, its banned. Federal laws disfavor warnings that can be confusing to consumers so it’s important to keep in mind that a Proposition 65 Warning on a product is a “right to know” warning and not a ban.
Can Proposition 65 be enforced outside of California?
Proposition 65 is a California state law and cannot be enforced on companies that do businesses outside of the state of California. The state can only enforce the law were companies ship and/or sell their products in California. Many companies that are required to place these warnings on their products sold in California are not required to do the same when they sell in other states. While companies that do not do business in California are not required to add the warning notices on their products, many do anyway to avoid possible litigation. If a product that is intended for sale outside of California makes it into the state of California without a warning label, it becomes subjected to Proposition 65.
Why does Earthotic need to include the Proposition 65 warning label on its products?
To avoid potential litigation, Earthotic will label its products with the Proposition 65 warning to protect itself and its sourcing partners. All herbal fruits and vegetables, even those that are certified organic, will contain some “naturally occurring” contaminants such as heavy metals that are listed on the Proposition 65 list. Under Proposition 65 these substances require a warning at levels that are far more stringent than actionable federal limits. One example is lead. The Proposition 65 standards for lead is a maximum of 0.5 micrograms per day, despite the FDA standards for lead which is 75 micrograms per day for adults.
Detectable lead can be found in almost every food you eat including carefully selected and sourced organic supplements. Trace amounts of lead and other heavy metals found in supplements are naturally occurring and none of these elements are added by Earthotic’s sourcing partners, who are FDA approved and follow good manufacturing practices to minimize or completely eliminate any heavy metal contamination.
It’s been argued that Proposition 65 warnings on food conflict with federal law, but California stands firm on their decision that supplements, and food are fair game and will not be removed from the list. Since the burden of proof falls on the business, Earthotic has chosen not to invoke the “naturally occurring allowance, due to the complex nature of the law and substantial costs it would incur defending itself in a lawsuit.
Do all products sold in California include the Proposition 65 warning labels?
Not all companies that sell products in California include the Proposition 65 warning labels on their products. Some companies may not be aware of the law or some are willing to accept the risk of being sued. Even if a product does not have a warning, it does not necessarily mean its free from toxins on the Proposition 65 list.
For more information regarding Proposition 65 see the links below: