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29-017 Audio CD: SYMPOSIUM: California Proposition 65:Foods are under siege!

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Jeffrey Margulies
David Schmidt
James Coughlin

29-017 Audio CD: SYMPOSIUM: California Proposition 65:Foods are under siege!


California passed the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, commonly referred to as Proposition 65. The law and its implementing regulations require the California governor to maintain the governor’s list of carcinogens and reproductive toxicants, and varying safe levels of consumer intake of these listed chemicals must be met. If levels are found in a day’s consumption of a consumer product (expressed in micrograms of the listed chemical/day) that exceed the safe level for a listed chemical, manufacturers of the product containing that chemical--including food/beverage products, functional foods and dietary supplements--must provide prominent cancer or reproductive toxicity warning labels on such products. Foods and dietary supplements are known to contain numerous listed Proposition 65 chemicals, and it is the obligation of manufacturers and retailers of these products to assess their products against the law’s legal and regulatory requirements. New food chemicals, such as caffeine, are always being considered for listing. Industry scientists and attorneys must be in a position to better understand the unique scientific and regulatory requirements that exist under this law and to learn more about the challenges facing foods. Foods have been one of the major focus areas of Proposition 65 enforcement activities in the last several years, including the listing of highly visible chemicals, some difficult-to-defend lawsuits against food products and warning notices now required for fresh fish containing mercury and French fries containing acrylamide. In addition, new regulatory initiatives on labeling of foods and the possible listing of some beneficial nutrients are on the horizon. It is critically important to raise the awareness level about Proposition 65’s potential impacts within the food industry. The perspectives of a food toxicologist, a food attorney and a food communications expert will be presented to educate Institute of Food Technologis