Coalition responds to California’s OEHHA Prop 65 proposals


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Coalition responds to California’s OEHHA Prop 65 proposals

Related tags Ahpa president michael Proposals California office of environmental health hazard assessment

A coalition of nearly 140 organizations and companies including dietary supplement trade associations has issued comments to proposals to reform California’s controversial Proposition 65 (Prop 65).

The coalition, which includes the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA), the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), and the Natural Products Association (NPA), has submitted comments in response to the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment's (OEHHA's) proposal to reform this law.

Prop 65 requires manufacturers selling products in California to include warning labels on products if they contain any detectable amount of 800+ chemicals believed to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity.

While the legislation isn’t new, supplement makers have found themselves at the receiving end of a tidal wave of prop 65 notices in recent years, most of which concerned lead, the Prop 65 threshold for which is just 0.5 micrograms per serving.

In May 2013, California Governor Edmund G. Brown announced that his administration would work with state regulators to reform the 30-year-old law to reduce "frivolous, shake-down"​ lawsuits, improve how the public is warned about dangerous chemicals, and strengthen the scientific basis for warning levels.

“California's Proposition 65 needs to be reformed to ensure consumers receive useful information and to reduce frivolous litigation that hampers the responsible commerce of herbal products and supplements in California,” ​said AHPA President Michael McGuffin. “AHPA continues to actively identify and take advantage of opportunities to improve this law.”


According to the coalition’s comments, which can be read here​, “many of the issues OEHHA has identified for potential regulatory action, if addressed appropriately, can help to achieve two of the Governor's proposed reforms.”

However, the coalition also notes that, while OEHHA's current regulatory undertaking related to Prop 65 warning requirements appear to be aimed at achieving the Governor's calls for "improving how the public is warned about dangerous chemicals," it is questionable whether OEHHA's proposal accomplishes this goal.

OEHHA's proposals include:

  • Alternative Risk Levels for Chemicals in Foods
  • Naturally Occurring Regulation
  • Safe Use Determination Process / Interpretive Guidance
  • Regulatory Provisions on Averaging Exposures
  • Safe Harbor Levels
  • Postnatal Development Exposures

The coalition also makes additional proposals related to the definition of “knowingly” (with regards to if a business has no knowledge of an exposure), the listing process (there is concern that the pace of new chemical listings has increased in recent years), and notices on food.

To read the full comments, please click here​.

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