Practical Advice on Avoiding Prop. 65 Enforcement

October 2016

California Grocer, Issue 5

California’s Proposition 65 has long been a thorn in the side of California grocers. It was originally passed a consumer right-to-know law with the intent that it would result in the public receiving warnings about harmful chemicals in the products they use. In practice, some would argue that consumers are no more informed after the passage of Proposition 65 because Proposition 65 warnings have become so ubiquitous, and are largely ignored. The effect of Proposition 65 has been to subject grocers and food manufacturers to frivolous lawsuits over the last 25 years.

Much of the time, grocers are put in the tenuous position of trying to determine whether to provide a warning for a particular product. But, unlike the manufacturer, grocers do not have access to product information that would enable them to determine whether a warning is actually required.

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