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California Court Determines that Breakfast Cereals Don’t Require Prop 65 Warnings

A state appeals court ruled that certain cereals can be sold without Proposition 65 warnings – even though they may contain a listed carcinogen. In the unanimous decision, the court decided that placing warning labels on otherwise healthful foods could dissuade consumers from purchasing these products, thereby depriving them of the many health benefits associated with cereals that contain whole grains. This is not the first time a court has determined that warnings are not warranted when a product’s benefits outweigh its potential harms. These decisions suggest that the presence of a listed chemical may not presumptively necessitate a Prop…

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How Prop 65 Regulatory Amendments May Affect the Food Industry

The amendments to the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act (Prop 65) warning regulations impose new requirements on many different products, including common food and drinks. Increasing attention has been focused on food and beverage ingredients such as acrylamide in coffee, baked goods and chips; furfuryl alcohol in baked goods, coffee and milk; and alcohol. The food and beverage industry has been significantly affected by litigation for violations of Prop 65 including lawsuits against fast food establishments and dietary supplement manufacturers. These companies face a unique hurdle: consumers presume that the products they eat are safe for consumption and…

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Enforcement and Penalties for Prop 65 Violations – Ouch

The Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act (Prop 65) prohibits businesses with 10 or more employees from exposing Californians from chemicals listed in the statute without providing “clear and reasonable” warnings. The Prop 65 list contains over 900 chemicals that are known to cause cancer or reproductive harm. A listed chemical requires a warning under Prop 65 unless the alleged exposure is shown to be below the “no significant risk level” (NSRL) for a listed carcinogen, or below the “maximum acceptable dose level” (MADL) for a listed reproductive toxicant. Who May Initiate an Enforcement Action? Enforcement actions for Prop…

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