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California Prop 65 Notice

What is Proposition 65?

You may have noticed references to Proposition 65, or Prop 65, on our product labels or website, and you might be wondering what it signifies. Allow us to explain. Prop 65 is a distinctive law in California, officially called the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act. Its essence is to provide consumers with information about potential exposure to substances that could potentially cause harm.

This law is unique in its approach to chemical safety. Contrary to federal regulations, which typically assume a chemical is safe until scientific evidence suggests otherwise, Prop 65 mandates a precautionary stance. It stipulates that if a company wishes to sell a product within the state of California, it must affirmatively prove that the product doesn't contain any chemicals listed under Prop 65, thereby ensuring its safety for consumers.

This leads us to the Prop 65 warning you may have noticed on our products. This label is a requirement for any product sold in California or shipped to customers in California online if it could potentially expose users to any of the over 1,000 substances listed by the state as possibly causing cancer, birth defects, or other reproductive harm. The list encompasses both synthetic and natural chemicals, which can be found in a broad range of everyday items.

These items span from food and medications to an array of other products such as batteries, computers, jewelry, clothes, cars, mobile phones, furniture, and even organic food. The reach of Prop 65 even extends to places like coffee shops, grocery stores, vehicles, restaurants, parking lots, amusement parks, and hospitals. The law even includes naturally occurring hormones in your own body, like testosterone and estrogen.

Given the extensive reach of this law, you might be wondering why we have chosen to label all our products with the Prop 65 warning, even those not destined for California. Over the years, enforcement of Prop 65 has expanded beyond California's borders, with lawyers targeting companies outside the state that ship products into California. As a smaller company, it's not feasible for us to create a separate label just for the products we ship to California. To ensure compliance with the law and to maintain transparency with all our customers, we made the decision to include the Prop 65 warning on all our products, regardless of their final destination.

It's essential to clarify that the presence of this warning does not prohibit any products from being sold in California or shipped to California. The Prop 65 law simply mandates that warning labels or signs must be displayed if exposure to the substance could potentially cause more than "one extra case of cancer in 100,000 individuals exposed to the chemical over a 70-year lifetime." This requirement stands even if a substance is present in an amount 1,000 times below the "no observable effect" level. So, if a product contains even minute quantities of substances such as lead, cadmium, or others listed under Prop 65, it must bear a California Proposition 65 warning.

While we comply with this law for the safety and awareness of our customers, it's worth noting that several significant health organizations, including the FDA, USDA, the European Union, and the World Health Organization, do not concur with the Prop 65 law, citing a lack of supporting scientific evidence. Regardless, we continue to adhere to it to ensure compliance and customer safety.

So, if you're having something shipped to an address in California, we urge you to be aware of this and understand that these warnings apply to all products we send to the state.

California Proposition 65 WARNING: Cancer and Reproductive Harm - www.P65Warnings.ca.gov/food 

and

California Proposition 65 WARNING: Consuming this product can expose you to chemicals, including lead, which is known to the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm. For further information go to www.P65Warnings.ca.gov/food

For additional information about California Proposition 65 see http://www.oehha.ca.gov/prop65.html.

Now, you might be wondering about enforcement. Well, lawsuits to enforce Prop 65 can be initiated by the State of California or by private individuals and their attorneys who profit from the law. The dietary supplement industry, for example, has been a particular target over claims of lead and other heavy metals in various supplements and food products.

You should know that lead is a naturally occurring element found throughout our environment, including in soils where plants and herbs can absorb it. Many plants, plant extracts, and minerals used in dietary supplements contain some level of lead, which is a chemical listed under Proposition 65. You can also find detectable levels of lead in various food products often considered part of a healthy diet, like fruit juice, seaweed, ginger, and chocolate, all of which have been the subject of Proposition 65 enforcement.

That said, our food naturally contains small amounts of heavy metals (which are categorized under Prop 65) because these substances naturally occur in our environment. The FDA has established safe levels for these metals, and rest assured; we regularly test our products to ensure they meet and even exceed these safety standards.

Unfortunately, while Prop 65 was originally designed to protect consumers in California, some lawyers have used it for personal gain, leading to expensive lawsuits. In fact, in 2008, the average settlement was a whopping $123,000! Some of this money goes towards legal fees, and because of this, we've had to add warning labels to our products, even though the naturally occurring levels of heavy metals in our products are well below the Prop 65 limits.

Despite these challenges, we at Z Natural Foods remain committed to supporting your health. In light of the current state of our environment, we believe that being proactive about our health is more important than ever. With this in mind, we've developed some guidelines that we hope will help you maintain vibrant health:

  • Use adaptogen and tonic herbs and foods daily
  • Nourish your body with whole foods to help it function at its best
  • Keep your body's detoxification pathways nourished and functioning optimally
  • Engage in relaxing activities like yoga, meditation, talk therapy, music, light & dance therapy
  • Stay hydrated to support your body's detox processes
  • Regularly consume quality, food-based proteins and engage in strength training exercises to maintain lean muscle tissue

We hope this information helps ease any concerns you may have about Prop 65 and the warnings on our products. As always, we're here to support your health journey!

To learn more about California Prop 65 please visit these sites:

  1. http://www.WhyThisWarning.com
  2. https://www.krostcpas.com/restaurant-newsletter/prop-65-enforcement-scam
  3. http://www.theiplawblog.com/2014/01/articles/legal-info/proposition-65-twenty-seven-years-later-and-still-no-observable-effect/
  4. https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0971/6576/files/prop65_explained_jan2016.pdf?12587164411280906725
  5. https://www.nowfoods.com/now/nowledge/california-residents-proposition-65-warning-faqs

The list of companies and products cited for non-compliance with Prop 65 is long and growing. Below are a few examples of companies in the nutritional supplement industry that have been pursued because of Prop 65 violations:

4Life Research

Absolute Nutrition

Advanced Nutrient Science

Advanced Physicians Formula (NHK Laboratories)

Advocare International

AIM International

AL Global Corporation

Alfa Vitamins Lab

ALL ONE Nutritech

Aloe Vera of America

Amazon Herb Company American Body Building Products

American BodyBuilding Products

Arbonne International (Arbonne Essentials)

Arise & Shine Herbal Products

Asp