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.