California Prop 65

Jun 25, 2024
If you live in California, you have probably seen this warning sign at fast food restaurants and on food packages, but do you really know what it means? California Prop 65 plays a crucial role in informing Californians about potential chemical exposures in everyday products, including food. But what exactly is Prop 65, and how does it translate to increased food transparency for you?
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Prop 65 Explained

Enacted in 1986, California's Proposition 65, also known as the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act, requires businesses to warn consumers about potential exposure to chemicals known by the state to cause cancer or reproductive harm. This includes chemicals that may be present in food products.

Chemicals related to the proposition

Here a few of the chemicals related to Prop 65, with a more in-depth explanation regarding their concerns:
1. Acrylamide: This chemical forms naturally in certain foods during high-heat cooking methods like frying, roasting, or baking. Examples include french fries, potato chips, and coffee. While the exact health risks are under ongoing research, Prop 65 requires a warning due to potential concerns.
2. Heavy Metals: Arsenic, lead, and mercury are heavy metals that can sometimes find their way into food through contaminated soil, water, or industrial processes. You might see Prop 65 warnings for these on certain fruits, vegetables, or processed foods.
3. Benzene: This industrial chemical can be present in food due to environmental contamination or certain packaging materials. Minimally processed fruits and vegetables are less likely to contain concerning levels.
4. Nitrates and Nitrites: These additives are commonly used in cured meats like bacon and hot dogs to preserve color and flavor. While generally safe in small amounts, Prop 65 requires warnings due to potential health concerns at higher levels.
5. Phthalates: These chemicals are found in various industrial products and can sometimes leach into food from packaging materials. While alternatives are becoming more prevalent, you might still see Prop 65 warnings for phthalates on some pre-packaged foods.

A Model For Other States

While Prop 65 is specific to California, it serves as a valuable model for other states. Increased food transparency can benefit consumers everywhere by: Raising Awareness: Prop 65 warnings spark conversation and raise awareness about the potential presence of harmful chemicals in food. This can lead to a broader national dialogue about food safety and ingredient quality.
Encouraging Safer Practices: Knowing that Prop 65-like regulations could potentially be implemented nationwide, food manufacturers may be more inclined to prioritize safer ingredients across the board. This can benefit consumers in all states.
Find more information on Prop 65 here.
At Trash Panda, we believe informed consumers are empowered consumers. By providing comprehensive ingredient information and highlighting potential concerns like Prop 65 warnings, we aim to equip you with the knowledge you need to make healthy and informed choices about the food you put on your table.
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