What is California Proposition 65?
CA Prop 65 (formerly titled "The Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act") is a California law passed by direct voter initiative in 1986 to initially protect drinking water sources from toxic substances that cause cancer and birth defects and to reduce or eliminate exposures to those elements. Over the years, this law was extended to consumer products that did not meet the lower limits established by the law like dietary supplements, requiring them to include a warning about potential exposure to a list of elements known to the State of California to cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm. There are currently over eight hundred substances on the list, many of which are naturally occurring in the environment. To view this list, visit: www.oehha.ca.gov/prop65.html
Proposition 65 requires lower limits on these substances than those required by the federal government in all of the other 49 states established by the United States Pharmacopeia (USP) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the World Health Organization (FAO/WHO).
The State of California exempts fruits and vegetables grown in California (i.e., apples, carrots, green beans, lettuce, spinach, and tomatoes) from this law since minerals and heavy metals are naturally occurring in the ground where produce is grown. Even though whole food supplements often use similar organic ingredients like plants and herbs, they are not awarded this same exemption.
How are Bluebonnet supplements affected by Prop 65?
While the majority of Bluebonnet’s products meet Proposition 65 requirements, we do offer some organic whole food supplements, like Super Earth® Organic VeggieProtein™ Powder, that do not meet them by a slim margin because plant-based ingredients that come from the ground contain naturally occurring heavy metals. At Bluebonnet, every batch is tested for identity, potency and purity, particularly microbial levels and heavy metal content. So those Bluebonnet products that might miss the lower limits established by this law do follow the federal limits on heavy metals and are therefore, safe for consumer consumption based on those national and international guidelines.
How do the California warnings compare to federal limits?
It should be noted that warning requirements for products sold in California are not usually the same as federal safety requirements. In fact, the warning level for reproductive toxicants is 1000 times lower according to Prop 65 than the lowest level established by the federal guidelines at which animal studies reported no reproductive health effect. Because of this difference, there is sometimes a mismatch between warnings on products sold in California and what is required elsewhere in the U.S. So this can explain why sometimes you may see a California Prop 65 warning on a product sold in California but no warning on the same exact product sold elsewhere.
Why don’t similar products carry the warning, and should I be concerned if a Bluebonnet product carries this warning?
Inconsistent Prop 65 enforcement many times explains why you will see certain products in the market with warnings, and virtually identical products without warnings. Just because another brand does not have the warning does not automatically mean that the other brand is free of the substance or has lower levels. You should always be aware and take heed of all product warnings. However, a Prop 65 warning does not necessarily mean that the product will actually cause cancer or other reproductive harm when the product is consumed as directed. As previously mentioned, Prop 65 standards are often significantly more stringent than federally and internationally established safety limits for these same substances. Therefore, a Prop 65 warning does not automatically mean that the product is unsafe.
At Bluebonnet, we have always taken the initiative when it comes to full disclosure on our labels even when labeling requirements like those in California through Prop 65 are so strict they exceed the requirements set federally in the other 49 states and are often impossible to meet when it comes to organic ingredients. Regardless, you can be rest assured that all Bluebonnet supplements meet federal safety limits on potentially toxic substances regardless of the laws set individually by each state. And in states like California, that have more stringent requirements, we will be transparent on our labels in following their specific warning guidelines; but this should not be a cause for concern over the consumer safety of any Bluebonnet product.
The following products maybe affected by Prop 65; however, every lot is tested and the results may vary.
- Super Vita CoQ10 Formula® Caplets
- Ladie's Choice® Whole Food-Based Multiple Caplets
- Men's Choice® Whole Food-Based Multiple Caplets
- Age-Less® Choice Whole Food-Based Multiple for Women 50+ Caplets
- Age-Less® Choice Whole Food-Based Multiple for Men 50+ Caplets
- Super Earth® Organic Greens Powder
- Super Earth® Organic WheatGrass Powder
- Super Earth Organic® VeggieProteinTM Powder (all flavors)
- 100% Natural Dual Action Protein Powder (cholcolate flavor)
- Extreme Edge® Post-Workout (chocolate flavor)