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FDA Takes a Stand in Coffee Controversy

If information about the health effects of drinking coffee and the need to issue Proposition 65 warnings for acrylamide in coffee seem paradoxical, that’s because different regulatory authorities have expressed opposing views about whether acrylamide is a carcinogen that warrants a warning. Most recently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a statement objecting to the court decision that required cancer warnings to be placed on coffee products. The FDA’s primary concern was that consumers could be misled about the health effects of ingesting coffee. The FDA’s statement comes in direct response to a California court ruling requiring coffee…

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Prop 65 Requirements for Residential Properties: What You Need to Know

While many of the Proposition 65 headlines relate to consumer products, the fact is that Proposition 65 applies to exposures to listed chemicals, not products per se. Thus, many other entities are also subject to the requirements to provide warnings if an exposure to a listed chemical can occur and safe harbor provisions do not apply. This includes exposures to listed chemicals occurring in residential properties. According to OEHHA, the apartment industry has long been a target of criticism – and enforcement actions – for allegedly exposing consumers and residents to chemicals that are listed as carcinogens or reproductive toxins…

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Will New Regulations Lead to More Lawsuits?

Since the implementation of Proposition 65’s amended regulations on August 30, 2018, some practitioners expect to see an increase in litigation related to violations of the statute. But the types of lawsuits that Proposition 65 defendants are likely to face under the new regulations will almost certainly shift: whereas previous lawsuits typically focused on whether a company failed to provide “clear and reasonable” warnings on their products at all, lawsuits under the amended regulations are more likely to tackle issues related to the adequacy of the warnings, compliance with warning requirements by online sellers, and questions about which entities are…

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Bayer to Appeal Verdict in Glyphosate Case

In a stunning verdict that could have far-reaching consequences for companies across the country, a court awarded plaintiff, Dewayne Johnson, $289 million in damages in his lawsuit against Bayer, the company that recently acquired Monsanto. The plaintiff alleged that he developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma after exposure to Monsanto’s flagship product, Roundup. The court ruled that the company did not properly warn the plaintiff and other consumers of the risk of cancer posed by Monsanto’s weed-killer. As anticipated, Bayer has requested that the verdict be overturned. According to the complaint, Mr. Johnson developed cancer after using Roundup for years in the course…

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OEHHA’s Safe Use Determination for Styrene in Bath Products

In August, the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard (OEHHA) received a request for a Safe Use Determination (SUD) for styrene in certain bath products. An SUD is OEHHA’s formal determination that an exposure to a listed chemical in specified scenarios - in this case, exposure to styrene in bath products - does not warrant a warning under Proposition 65. Styrene is a chemical monomer used to make polystyrene, a solid plastic material. It is used in the production of polystyrene resins that are found in plastic packaging, disposable containers, insulation and other products. Styrene has been classified as possibly…

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