California Proposition 65 Information

North American Herb and Spice is committed to providing every customer with the highest quality nutritional supplements and super foods available from around the world.  As part of that mission we ensure that our raw materials come from the most remote, pollution-free areas. Because these materials are wild and handpicked they provide the complete nutrition that can not be found in standardized, synthetically processed/grown materials.  As a result, these materials contain varying levels of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and various other elements found to be naturally occurring in nature.  These nutrients are extremely bioavailable, that is, they are readily absorbed and utilized by the body, because they occur naturally within the food.  Science has proven over and over that the natural wild or organic unprocessed food sources are the most beneficial for every age group. Maintaining this level of quality and being the greatest provider of the finest products for total nutrition is at the center of our commitment.

What is California Proposition 65?

In 1986, California voters approved an initiative to address their growing concerns about exposure to toxic chemicals. That initiative became the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, better known by its original name of Proposition 65. Proposition 65 requires the State to publish a list of chemicals known to cause cancer or birth defects or other reproductive harm. This list, which must be updated at least once a year, has grown to include approximately 800 chemicals since it was first published in 1987.

Proposition 65 requires businesses to notify Californians about amounts of chemicals in the products they purchase, in their homes or workplaces, or that are released into the environment that exceed the recommended levels published with the list. By providing this information, Proposition 65 enables Californians to make informed decisions about protecting themselves from exposure to these chemicals. Proposition 65 also prohibits California businesses from knowingly discharging significant amounts of listed chemicals into sources of drinking water.

The Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) administers the Proposition 65 program.

For more information related to Prop 65 and a complete list of the chemicals in question please visit the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment’s website at http://www.oehha.ca.gov/prop65/p65faq.html.

How does Proposition 65 apply to the Natural Products Industry?

Most if not all plants that grow in soil contain naturally occurring amounts of elemental metals such as arsenic, cadmium, mercury, and lead.  Although the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a Provisional Total Tolerable Intake level (PTTI) for lead, California Prop 65 establishes a much lower limit for requiring the California Prop 65 Warning on a product.

Age Group Amount Known to Cause Health Problems FDA’s Recommended Safe and Tolerable Daily Diet Lead Intakes (PTTI)
Children under age 6 60 mcg 6 mcg
Children 7 and up 150 mcg 15 mcg
Pregnant women 250 mcg 25 mcg
Adults 750 mcg 75 mcg

 

California Proposition 65 requires that any product, whether a food item or natural supplement, that contains more than 0.5 mcg of lead must put the following warning on the label of the product:

“WARNING: This product contains chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects and/or other reproductive harm.”

This makes virtually every food and natural supplement with ingredients that come from the ground susceptible to the warning requirement.  The table below shows the naturally occurring lead content of various foods:

Lead Found in a 4 Ounce (1/2 cup) Serving of Commonly Eaten Foods

Shrimp, boiled 23.8 mcg
Italian salad dressing 12.2 mcg
Mixed nuts, no peanuts, roasted 10.2 mcg
Liver, beef 9.0 mcg
Brussels sprouts, fresh, boiled 7.9 mcg
Sweet potato, fresh, baked 7.2 mcg
Spinach, boiled 7.0 mcg
Avocado, raw 4.5 mcg
Cottage cheese 4% milk fat 3.4 mcg
Cucumber, Raw 3.4 mcg
Peach, raw 3.4 mcg
Onions, mature, raw 2.7 mcg
Strawberries, raw 2.0 mcg
Eggs, boiled 1.5 mcg
Whole milk 1.2 mcg

 

All of these common frequently consumed products require a California Prop 65 Warning.  In California, similar warnings are posted in hotels, restaurants, gas stations, and even clothing stores and in numerous other places and on many products.  Thus the warning becomes redundant and easily dismissed.

How is California Proposition 65 enforced?

California law says that any individual acting in the public interest may enforce Proposition 65 by filing a lawsuit against a business alleged to be in violation of this law. Lawsuits have been filed by the Attorney General’s Office, district attorneys, consumer advocacy groups, and private citizens and law firms.

Primarily lawsuits are being filed by private citizens and consumer advocacy groups.  In 2013, 352 lawsuits were filed.  Of those lawsuits 350 were filed by private citizens and consumer advocacy groups.  Conspicuously, only 2 lawsuits were filed by a California Attorney General or District Attorney in 2013.  Of the 800 dangerous chemicals on the Prop 65 list, including such chemicals as 2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin; Ethylene glycol; Sodium fluoroacetate, lead was the material exceedingly identified in the lawsuit as the violating chemical. Thus the main focus of litigious action has been on lead levels above 0.5 mcg.  Other horrifyingly toxic substances have not been addressed in such legal actions.

Penalties for violating Proposition 65 by failing to provide warnings/notices can be as high as $2,500 per violation per day.  That means awards of monumental amounts can be assessed.  This can totally crush and destroy businesses that are maintaining limits well within FDA guidelines.

In, 2013, $17,409,756, was awarded through Proposition 65 settlements, of that $12,731,262 were stated to be attorney’s fees.  Another $1,998,435 went to the private citizens and consumer advocacy groups who filed lawsuits.  Around the world America has the reputation for being the most litigious nation.  Are these lawsuits a legitimate concern, or has this Proposition 65 been positioned as another means of attack on the nutrition industry which has borne the brunt of this legal harassment.

North American Herb and Spice Products and California Proposition 65

All of North American Herb and Spice products fall well below the FDA’s PTTI levels.  In fact, our products fall well below most foods eaten on a daily basis by millions of Americans.  The truth is that the warning appears on the label to protect the rights of our customers in California to purchase and benefit from the North American Herb and Spice products.  We stringently test all of our raw materials/finished products so that we can make that statement with complete and resolute certainty.

As a valued customer, you can benefit with complete confidence from all the wonderful products from North American Herb and Spice, the very best nature has to offer.

If you still have questions please do not hesitate to call our support line: 1-800-243-5242