California Prop 65
The only supplement we currently carry that has this warning sticker on it is the Nucleotide Complex by Quantum Nutrition Labs (QNL). The warning on this specific product is due to naturally found minerals and not artificial chemicals.
What is California Prop 65?
Prop 65 is a piece of legislation that's unique to the State of California and, in theory, only applies to products sold in, and to commercial establishments within, that state. And to be clear, Prop 65 is a well-intentioned piece of legislation.
Prop 65 or the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 was voted into law by a landslide (63 percent). The intention of this law was to allow Californians to make informed choices about the products they buy and use.
The law requires companies to notify Californians about significant amounts of chemicals in the products they manufacture. Prop 65 also prohibits California businesses from knowingly releasing significant amounts of listed chemicals into or near drinking water sources.
The list of potentially problematic chemicals, compounds, and metals covered by Proposition 65 has grown to more than 900 since 1986.
It takes the form of a label on a product saying something along the lines of:
WARNING: Consuming this product can expose you to chemicals including [name of chemical(s)/chemical class(es)], which is [are] known to the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm.
No (Easy) Distinction Between Substances
Prop 65 doesn’t make a distinction between substances that are man-made (like paint, batteries, and exhaust) and those that are naturally found (like in soil and crops). For example, lead is a naturally occurring heavy metal found in natural products like produce. So organic cocoa powder, bentonite clay, or even collard greens would be in the same category as lead paint!
A substance like lead is less harmful when it’s naturally occurring as it is already bonded to another element (unlike lead in paint, cosmetics, etc. which is unbonded, bioavailable, and can accumulate in the body).
Prop 65 warnings are everywhere in California, such as coffee shops, vitamin shops etc.
The Major Takeaways
A Prop 65 warning on your food or supplement label doesn't necessarily mean the product is unsafe, or that you shouldn't take it.
Prop 65 warnings can be found on the packaging of many products, from protein powders, natural supplements, coffee, tea to jeans and gardening equipment.
You may see a warning label on a product that contains safe levels of a substance. Many companies cover their legal bases by putting a label on their products, even if it may not be necessary.
It's not all artificial chemicals or by-products in question; often it's something naturally occurring in food or a supplement. For example, Nucleotide Complex.
Prop 65 chemicals and their respective "safe use" thresholds are only recognized in California, not by any other federal or international regulatory body. The FDA has criticized and overruled Prop 65 in some cases.
Please don't hesitate to contact us with questions at any time: