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Proposition 65 (“Prop 65”) is a California law formally known as the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act. Prop 65 is a unique California only “right to know” law that requires products sold in California to bear warning notices about potential exposure to any of the over 800 substances listed by the state.

Under Prop 65 all products that could contain any of the 800 listed chemicals must display a warning with these exact words:

“WARNING: This product contains a chemical known to the state of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm.”

Prop 65 warnings may be required for any product that exposes an individual in California to any chemical listed under the law. This is not just about food but includes any item that has the possibility of having any of these "chemicals". This includes electrical wires, jewelry, padlocks, schools, dishes, flashlights, coffee shops, clothing, cars, restaurants, TV’s, furniture, alcohol, diesel engines, amusement parks, parking lots, hardware stores, gas stations, hospitals, and just about any decent-sized business. Even testosterone and estrogen which are naturally produced by your body are listed in Prop 65.

Prop 65 does not ban any products from sale in California; it simply requires warning labels or signage whenever exposure could cause more than “one excess case of cancer in 100,000 individuals exposed to the chemical over a 70-year lifetime.” That allows anybody to bring a case by finding a listed chemical in a product even if it is present in an amount 1,000 times below the “no observable effect” level. A company can prove the level is meaninglessly low, but that is quite costly to do in court. Most companies end up settling with the plaintiff (even when they are not liable) to avoid the expense of litigation and then add the warning labels to everything.

Lawsuits to enforce Prop 65 against manufacturers may be instituted by the State of California, or much more frequently by private “bounty hunters” and their attorneys who profit from the law. Recently, the dietary supplement industry has been subject to aggressive enforcement by private Proposition 65 bounty hunters over alleged lead and other heavy metals contained in various supplement products. Lead is a naturally occurring element that is found throughout the entire environment, including in soils where it can be taken up by natural plants and herbs. Many plants, plant extracts, and minerals used in dietary supplement products contain some level of lead, a chemical listed under Proposition 65. Detectable lead can also be found in a variety of food products that are generally considered part of a healthy diet, including fruit juice, seaweed, ginger and chocolate, all of which have also been the subject of Proposition 65 enforcement.

Detectable lead can be found in almost every food you have eaten in your entire life including carefully selected and sourced superfoods. None of these elements are added by Z Natural Foods, who follows good manufacturing practices to minimize or eliminate any contamination.

Under federal laws, the federal government cannot take action to limit the use of a chemical unless it has been proven unsafe. So a chemical is generally considered safe unless there is scientific evidence to the contrary. But under California Prop 65, the presumption of culpability is flipped so a company must prove its product is safe and free of all 800 chemicals.

The reason you now see this label on our foods is because, after many years and many lawsuits, the group of attorneys, who had much to do with putting this law into play, are running out of companies in California to sue. They are now pursuing and trying to extract money out of any company that ships its products to California. In the near future you will begin noticing these warnings on almost everything from every company in the state of California.

Here is what makes this absurd. The FDA, USDA, European Union, and World Health Organization do not agree with this law and found no scientific merit to back it up. Everything we eat contains tiny amounts of heavy metals (defined as chemicals under Prop 65) due to the fact that this is simply the state of our natural environment. The FDA has set guidelines on what is considered safe for many of these items in question and we laboratory test every batch of every product we receive to ensure it not only meets but exceeds these federal requirements.

This law was originally created by the state of California to protect the consumer but now some unscrupulous lawyers are taking advantage for personal profit rather than a true concern to safeguard the consumer. In 2008 the average settlement was $123,000 and for those companies that try to defend themselves in court the costs are even higher. The vast majority to these settlement costs end up in the pockets of the attorneys, who brought the case, as legal fees. For this reason we have been forced to put the warning labels on any product we ship to the state of California even if the naturally occurring levels of heavy metals are well below Prop 65 levels.

You should also be aware that the Governor of California has recently proposed reforms to end abusive Prop 65 lawsuits. To learn more about these efforts, please visit the following link: http://www.gov.ca.gov/news.php?id=18026

In conclusion we at Z Natural Foods understand that due to the state of our environment, you the consumer, need to be proactive in order to have vibrant health. As a health coach, Master Herbalist, and Director of Education at Z Natural Foods, I have produced guidelines that you may want to consider in order to achieve this goal. Most importantly we need to focus on how the body responds to external stressors especially the ones we have no control over. In order to support the body's ability to have a healthy stress response the following guidelines will be very helpful:

● The daily use of adaptogen and tonic herbs and foods
● Nourishing our bodies with real whole foods in order to give us the tools to function at optimal levels
● Nourishing our detoxification pathways in order to keep them working at optimal levels
● Practice healthy relaxing activities like yoga, meditation, talk therapy, music, light & dance therapy
● Maintain adequate hydration status which assists the detoxification processes
● Finally, through the consumption of quality food based protein and daily forms of strength training to keep as much lean muscle tissue on our body as possible


Remember toxins store up in fat tissue so the less we have the better.

I hope this information helps settle any concerns you may have about Prop 65 and these warning labels.

To learn more about California Prop 65 please visit these sites:

  1. http://www.WhyThisWarning.com
  2. http://prop65scam.com/
  3. https://www.gov.ca.gov/news.php?id=18026
  4. https://www.nowfoods.com/now/nowledge/california-residents-proposition-65-warning-faqs
  5. https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0971/6576/files/prop65_explained_jan2016.pdf?12587164411280906725
  6. http://www.theiplawblog.com/2014/01/articles/legal-info/proposition-65-twenty-seven-years-later-and-still-no-observable-effect/


The list of companies and products cited for non-compliance to Prop 65 is long and growing. Below are a few examples of companies in the nutritional supplement industry that have been pursued for Prop 65 violations by unscrupulous lawyers driven by profit rather than public health:

4Life Research
Absolute Nutrition
Advanced Nutrient Science
Advance Physicians Formula (NHK Laboratories)
Advocare International
AIM International
AL Global Corporation
Alfa Vitamins Lab
ALL ONE Nutritech
Aloe Vera of America
Amazon Herb Company
American Body Building Products
Arbonne International (Arbonne Essentials)
Arise & Shine Herbal Products
Aspen Group
AST Sport Science
ATF Fitness Products
Atrium Inc.
Ayush Herbs
Baseline Nutritionals
Beauty & Health International
Betty Lou’s
Bio-International
Biotics Research Corporation
Bristol Farms Pure Synergy
Bronson Nutritionals
Ceautamed Worldwide
Cell-Nique Corporation
CGNP Manufacturing
Champion Nutrition
Chi’s Enterprise
Continental Vitamin Company
Creations Garden Natural Products
DEVA Nutrition
DNS Nutrition
Dr. Health
Dr. Mercola
Dr. Schulze’s American Botanical Pharmacy
EarthLab (Wise Woman Herbals)
Erom
Forever Living
Forevergreen
FreeLife International
Full Green Circle
Futurebiotics
Garden of Life
General Nutrition Centers
Genesis Pure
Genesis Today
Genisoy Food Company
GHC ND Operations
Ginco International
Global Healing Center
Golden Flower Chinese Herbs
Golden Neo-Life Diamite International
Good Life International
Great American Products
Greens World
Health Body Services
Health Plus
Healthy Body Services
Healthy Directions
Healthy Healing
Healthy Natural Systems International
Heritage Health Products Company
ICA Health (Dr. Wilson’s Original Formulations)
ICC Industries
Inner Health Group
Institute for Vibrant Living
Integrated Sports Science
Integrity Health Group
ISI Brands
It Works Global
Jarrow Formulas
Kan Herb Company
Konsyl Pharmaceuticals
Kraft Foods
Labrada Nutrition
Life Extension (XtendOLife)
Life Force International
Living Intentions
LuckyVitamin Corporation
MacroLife Naturals
Max Muscle Sports Nutrition
MET-Rx Engineered Nutrition
Metagenics
Mountain Rose Herbs
MRI
MRM
Myogenix
Natrol
Natura Health Products
Naturade Operating Corporation
Natural Organics
Nature’s Answer (Greens Today, Tru Cleanse, etc.)
Nature’s Best
Nature’s Bounty
Nature’s Herb Company
Nature’s Plus
Nature’s Sunshine Products
Nature’s Way Products
Naturemed
Navitas Naturals
New England Greens
Nu Skin Enterprises
NuCare International
Nutraceutical Corporation
Nutri-Well International
Nutri-West
NutriBiotic
Nutricologiy
Optimum Nutrition
Organic By Nature
Organic India USA
Ortho Molecular Products
Promax Nutrition Corporation
ProSource
Pure Planet Products
Quick Trim
R-U-VED
Raw Indulgence
ReNew Life Formulas
Rexal Sundown
Robbins Research International
Self Health Resource Center (Dr. Clark Store)
Seychelles Organics
Sonne’s Organic Foods
Sunfood Superfoods
Sunrider International
Sunsweet Growers
Sunwarrior
Supreme Protein
Symmetry Corporation
Tao of Wellness
The Clean Program Corp.
The Synergy Company
Trace Minerals Research
TRC Nutritional Laboratories
TriVita
Ultimate Nutrition
United Herbal Sciences
United States Nutrition
Vega (Sequel Naturals)
Vibrant Health
Visual Sciences
Vital Pharmaceuticals
Vitamin Power
Vitamin Research Products
Vitamin Shoppe
VitaTech International
Vitonomy
Wellness Watchers Global
WellNX Life Sciences
Western Botanicals
Wholistic Botanicals
Windmill Health Products
World Health Products
Yerba Prima

A Few Distributors:
Amazon.com
Drugstore.com
Pureformulas.com
Supplementwarehouse.com
DPS Nutrition
iHerb
GNC
Swanson Health Products
Vitacost.com

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