California Proposition 65
Under most federal or state environmental regulations, the government is in charge of ensuring that businesses comply with the law. But California’s Proposition 65 contains a unique “citizen lawsuit” provision. That means private citizens can file lawsuits against businesses they claim aren’t fully complying with the law—regardless of whether or not that’s true.
California has placed more than 900 chemicals on its list of carcinogens. There are a few different processes by which chemicals can be added to the list, but in general two committees of “technical experts” review the scientific literature and evidence surrounding a particular chemical and then determine whether they think it has the potential to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity. Despite this seemingly scientific process, California often lists chemicals as carcinogens that other government agencies and scientific bodies consider perfectly safe.
Proposition 65 doesn’t just impact Californians. Because out-of-state manufacturers have to comply with Prop 65 in order to sell their products in California, if a business produces a product that necessitates a Prop 65 warning label, it has to:
- Put a warning label on all of its products—even those sold outside of California.
- Put a warning label only on the product that it sells in California.
- Reformulate its product to remove any chemical listed on Prop 65.
- Consider no longer selling its product in California.
© 2018. Prop 65 Scam is a project of the Center for Accountability in Science
Every day, consumers are inundated with headlines and talk show segments warning about how the products in their pantries, medicine cabinets, refrigerators, and under their sink could give them an array of terrifying diseases. In many cases, these scary stories vastly overstate the actual risk, causing unnecessary alarm.
The Center for Accountability in Science provides a balanced look at the science behind these news stories and examines the organizations behind the effort to scare consumers.
© 2018. Prop 65 Scam is a project of the Center for Accountability in Science.