Prop 65: What’s It All About, Anyway?

So what is that rather ominous 'Proposition 65 Warning' you may have noticed on our product labels, featuring an exclamation point on a yellow background?

If you live outside of California, this may be the first time you have seen such a warning, or the first time you've ever heard about Proposition 65 ("Prop 65") – but to Californians, the warnings have become so widespread as to appear commonplace.

In spite of the extremely low thresholds for toxins set by the State of California – GoodApple Nutritionals still does not exceed any allowable limits – and therefore, we are not legally required to include a Prop 65 warning.

All of our products are below the California allowable amounts of lead or any other heavy metal.

Our products have also passed rigorous purity testing by all of our suppliers, and they are manufactured in accordance with GMP standards. Producing the highest quality supplements to support your digestive health has always been our priority.

Nevertheless, in an abundance of precaution, GoodApple Nutritionals has added a Prop 65 warning to some of our bottles.

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Curious to know more about the law that prompted these warnings?

Proposition 65, also known as the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act, was enacted on November 4, 1986 by California voters through a ballot initiative. The proposition was intended to protect the state's drinking water sources from toxic substances.

Prop 65 was passed as a means of addressing public concerns about the presence of harmful chemicals in products and the environment. It requires businesses to provide "clear and reasonable warnings" to California consumers about potential exposure to chemicals known to the state to cause cancer, birth defects, or other reproductive harm. Products with levels exceeding the state's allowable amounts must carry warnings for consumers within California.

It's essential to understand that a Prop 65 warning doesn't necessarily guarantee harm, as it operates based on the "no observable effect level." This means that daily exposure to a specific chemical, below a certain threshold, should not result in any harm. The state ensures an additional margin of safety by dividing the exposure amount by 1,000.

Regarding cancer-causing substances, the standard is set so low that experts have questioned the rationale behind adding certain items to the list, citing a significant margin of safety. Some argue that the definitions of "no observable effect" and "no significant risk" are excessively conservative.

While an abundance of caution may sound like a good thing in theory, unfortunately in practice the extremely low thresholds mean that products in California are swimming in warning labels that consumers are learning to 'tune out' – meaning that crucial warnings about actual problematic compounds might get overshadowed by widespread warnings about common food items.

For example, lead is naturally present in all soil – which by extension means lead will be present in everything that grows in the soil, including all vegetables, fruits, and medicinal herbs.

With any substance, the key factor that determines health and safety is the level of exposure. Your carrots may contain lead, but under normal growing conditions, they do not contain enough lead to affect your health in any way. So when you see that bright yellow caution symbol, don't be alarmed, but be informed!

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Prop 65 Infographic