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If you’ve found your way to this page, you’ve no doubt encountered a Prop 65 warning label and might be asking yourself if the ORGANIC INDIA product you bought for better health is safe. The short answer is, yes! While we’d love to keep it short and sweet, what we want even more is to empower you with information to make informed decisions.
Prop 65 – aka California’s Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 – requires cancer or reproductive warnings for products that may lead to exposure to compounds, even at levels 1000 times less than the level at which no measurable effect can be scientifically detected, as in the case of lead.
How does lead even get into an organic herbal supplement in the first place? Lead is an element found in the soil, which plants naturally uptake along with minerals and other nutrients as they grow. We do not add lead to any of our products, nor is it a byproduct of the production process and there is currently no known process to remove lead from plant material. Therefore, lead may be detected not only in herbs but also in many healthy foods like avocados, apples and lettuce – though the low levels of concentration do not outweigh the health benefits of the other compounds in these healthy fruits and vegetables.
It is probably no surprise that these new labeling requirements have caused a lot of unnecessary confusion and concern – and are potentially doing more harm than good by desensitizing people to the warnings, thereby failing to accurately warn consumers about substantiated risk. The law requires warning labels at levels that are a fraction of those set by the American Herbal Products Association.
To illustrate, let’s look at herbal supplements. If the recommended daily dose of an herbal supplement is 4 capsules, that means that a person could ingest 4,000 capsules per day and still not reach a lead level with a scientifically established risk of reproductive harm. That is not to say that it is safe to exceed the recommended dose and we strongly advise to never take more than the recommended dose of any supplement. The bottom line is – the product with a warning label does not have to represent actual risk to carry the warning.
So, who benefits from a law like Prop 65? Those who typically benefit from laws like this are the lawyers who profit off small businesses that are otherwise in full compliance with existing regulatory and safety standards. Because smaller businesses often don’t have the resources to fight a lawsuit in court, they typically settle out of court and thus become a target for litigious opportunists.
In just the last 2 years, businesses paid settlements of over $17.8 million in addition to $14.3 million in attorney’s fees. Unfortunately, it is typically small businesses who bear the burden of such laws and ultimately the consumer who pays the real price in misinformation and increased prices on the shelf.
If you would like to further educate yourself on Proposition 65 and its implications, please visit any of the links below.
AHPA: Prop 65 FAQ’s
Are animal models predictive for humans?
WebMD: Don’t Ditch the Coffee Over Cancer Risk News
Coffee and Cancer - What the Research Really Shows
No Significant Risk v Maximum Allowable Levels