In 1986, California voters passed the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act, a.k.a. Proposition 65. Chemicals that are added to this list are ones that can be labeled or identified as causing cancer or birth defects or other reproductive harm in humans or laboratory animals. Chemicals do not need to pose a risk in human testing to fall under the language of Prop 65.
While selling products that contain any of the listed chemicals is not prohibited, any company that does business in California is required to notify consumers in California with a clear and reasonable warning if any of their products contain a chemical that is listed on the Prop 65 list.
The warning itself should read similar to “This product contains chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity.”
Currently, there are over 900 chemicals on the Prop 65 list, which is updated at least once per year. Any chemicals that are regarded as reproductive toxicants or carcinogens are included on this list, even though some of these chemicals (such as lead, for example) are often found in nature and are not intentionally added to products.
As mentioned above, Prop 65 applies to any company who sells consumer goods in California, including food. Since 2013, dietary supplements are categorized in California as foods for purposes of Proposition 65.
Since Proposition 65 applies to dietary supplements that are sold in California, consumers will be notified if a supplement contains a Prop 65-listed chemical, if that chemical is present in an amount above the set threshold, and if the chemical isn’t naturally occurring in an ingredient of the supplement. MaryRuth’s always likes to err on the safe side to be in compliance with the law, and thus includes the Prop 65 warning when necessary.
A Proposition 65 warning doesn’t mean a product is unsafe; the notice simply must be included to make consumers aware of the presence of a chemical on the Prop 65 list so that they can make informed decisions when purchasing a product.
Additionally, the amount of a chemical that would trigger a Prop 65 warning is much lower than what would be concerning by other agencies like the FDA, the EAP, WHO and other health organizations. Regardless, we comply with the regulations set forth in the language of the law, so that is why you may notice a Proposition 65 warning as applicable when purchasing a product from MaryRuth Organics.
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