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.
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.
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.
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.
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, the majority 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/.
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. Proposition 65 can be very confusing to consumers so it’s important to keep in mind that a warning on a product is a “right to know” and not a ban.
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.
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 much lower than limits set by the FDA. Lead is one of the heavy metals that occur naturally in soil and while the FDA standards for lead is 75 micrograms per day for adults, the Proposition 65 maximum is 0.5 micrograms, which makes it almost impossible to produce supplements that meet the strict Proposition 65 “safe harbor’ limits. Since these heavy metals are naturally occurring, this means they are not added by Earthotic’s sourcing partners, who are FDA approved and follow good manufacturing practices to minimize or completely eliminate 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.
Not all companies that sell products in California include the Proposition 65 warning labels on their products because they are willing to risk getting sued or they don’t know that they are required to add the warning to their products. Even if a product does not have a warning, it does not mean its free from toxins on the Proposition 65 list.