California Proposition 65

California’s Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, aka Proposition 65, requires products sold in the state of California to bear a Prop 65 warning if the product exceeds the level the state has specified as risk-free for a list of hundreds of chemicals. The levels California has specified are far more stringent than the levels deemed safe by the other 49 states, Canada and the European Union, and more stringent than what is accepted by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Why don’t we see these labels on products from big companies like General Mills, Kraft, etc.? Large companies with adequate sales volume can support an inventory of Prop 65 labeled products for California and unlabeled inventory for the rest of the country. The products are no different, but that’s why you don’t see these labels on their products in your local stores. Smaller companies can’t control where their resellers ship their products and are therefore forced to add this label to their entire inventory.

Where can I learn more? The best place to start is at California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment website. You can find a list of the chemicals here.

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