In 1986, the people of California passed a proposition that was primarily designed to prevent dumping of toxic chemicals in California waters. That initiative became the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, better known by its original name of Proposition 65 or Prop 65.
Under Prop 65, the State of California is required to publish a list of chemicals known to cause cancer, birth defects, or other reproductive harm. This list is updated at least once a year and has grown to include approximately 800 chemicals since it was first published in 1987. The list contains a wide range of naturally occurring and synthetic chemicals that are known to cause cancer or birth defects or other reproductive harm. These chemicals include additives or ingredients in pesticides, common household products, food, drugs, dyes, or solvents. Some chemicals may also be used in manufacturing and construction, or they may be by-products of chemical processes, such as motor vehicle exhaust.
To see the current list of these chemicals, visit: p65warnings.ca.gov/chemicals
Practically all foods contain certain levels of one or more of the substances listed by the State of California. In many cases, the exposure levels established by Prop 65 are less than what occurs naturally in fruits, vegetables, grains, and even drinking water. Proteins, plants, and minerals all are well-known to contain substances that exceed the allowed exposures on the Prop 65 list. Prop 65 makes no distinction between natural and artificial products.
Lead is one element on the list that exists naturally in many substances. Prop 65 has inadvertently affected dietary supplements and herbal ingredients which naturally contain trace levels of elements like lead that are commonly found in soil, plants, and water. The Prop 65 limit of 0.5 mcg / day for lead is far below the amount of lead naturally found in many fruits, vegetables, and herbs grown in uncontaminated soils.
Prop 65 requires warning labels be applied to products which contain chemicals on the list. Prop 65 warnings are seen throughout California in a wide range of settings – in restaurants, grocery stores, hotels, schools, hospitals, and on a wide variety of consumer products including dietary supplements and herbal supplements.
The State of California requires a warning for any product sold in California that would result in a consumer ingesting more than 0.5 mcg of lead in a day. This is an exceedingly low level that is, by law, 1000 times lower than the highest level of lead known by California NOT to cause reproductive harm. In other words, the Prop 65 warning threshold for lead incorporates a 1000-fold safety factor below the level found to have NO observable effect on humans or animals. Therefore Prop 65 sets an extremely stringent warning threshold.
All of the ingredients in our products test well below the internationally and federally accepted safety standards for toxins in dietary supplements. The Prop 65 standard is set far below the toxin levels allowed anywhere else and is not based on scientific analysis of actual risks, but on a regulatory system contained within the Proposition. The warning labels required by Prop 65 do not present information about the safety or the risk of any product.
It is important to note Prop 65 does not ban any products; it simply requires warnings on products that contain certain chemicals. Rather than limit access to our products in California, we have chosen to apply warning labels as specified under Prop 65.
Although Prop 65 was well-intentioned, it has caused many unforeseen consequences, and because it was passed by a ballot initiative, avoiding the usual legislative process, it is difficult to change. SilverOnyx LLC (DBA Nature's Nutrition) does not object to compliance with Prop 65, despite our position that the required labels are misleading rather than informative.
If you would like to read more about Prop 65, please visit: oehha.ca.gov/prop65