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Proposition 65 and consumer consumption


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#1 sjenkins

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Posted 21 May 2018 - 05:22 PM

I work for a spice company and we are working to ensure our products meet the new Prop 65 standards. I have been told that we are responsible for the levels of Prop 65 related chemicals no matter how much a consumer may consume? I feel as though a company should only be responsible based on a "normal" rate of consumption, not how much a consumer may grossly misuse the product. Does anyone have any thoughts on this, or can provide me with directions to references on this matter?

 

Thanks!!



#2 jdpaul

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Posted 21 May 2018 - 05:40 PM

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#3 FSQA

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Posted 21 May 2018 - 08:20 PM

Sjenkins, are you guys in Bulk processing or blending of spices?

 

Meeting Prop 65 in Spices Industry is a big challenge, as the cost of individual lot/batch testing for all the Prop 65 chemicals can be pretty high (obviously varies by operations).

 

 



#4 sjenkins

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Posted 21 May 2018 - 08:43 PM

We co-pack spices for private labels, so we can tend to do it all. We create and sell proprietary blends, as well as vendor supplied blends, single ingredient, and every once in a while bulk. We are attempting to verify what exactly the industry is doing and to be compliant with our packaging. However, this issue of what exactly is meant by customer consumption has us at a bit of a stand still on some aspects.



#5 FurFarmandFork

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Posted 21 May 2018 - 09:52 PM

Frankly, stick the warning on there somewhere and move on. Californians typically don't pay attention to them anyway because they're everywhere.

 

Quoting myself in a previous thread:

 

Posted 16 April 2018 - 02:55 PM

If we decide we're going to ship to CA, I'll add the prop 65 warning to my label. Not going to mess with trying to quantify acrylamide or any of the other thousand contaminants in a statistically valid way. CA consumers are used to seeing the warning literally everywhere from pumping gas to starbucks so in general it doesn't seem affect purchase intent unless you're specifically going after a "whole foods" market.

 

In general it comes down to your compeition. If you have a product that can be produced without the warning, you have an incentive to try and get rid of it. However, if all products carry the warning (such as insecticides, gasoline, etc.) then consumers will likely tune out the warning.

 

As much as I want to bash on CA food safety, it's worth noting that despite the negative consequences on risk perception and company liability vs. public health, Prop 65 has encouraged a number of successes in pushing for innovation and elimination of certain formulations containing heavy metals etc. in various industries that benefit the public in general. While not my tool of choice, prop 65 has been successful at overall reducing the amounts of these substances consumers are exposed to, whether they were significant or not.

 

 

 

Some resources on consumer perception:

 

https://hbr.org/2016...s-arent-working

 

https://research.hks...=11338&type=WPN

 

https://digitalcommo...90&context=pubs

 

 


Austin Bouck
Owner/Consultant at Fur, Farm, and Fork.
Consulting for companies needing effective, lean food safety systems and solutions.

Subscribe to the blog at furfarmandfork.com for food safety research, insights, and analysis.

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#6 QAGB

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Posted 17 December 2018 - 01:33 PM

 

Frankly, stick the warning on there somewhere and move on. Californians typically don't pay attention to them anyway because they're everywhere.

 

Quoting myself in a previous thread:

 

 

 

 

Hi FurFarmandFork,

 

Do you have controlled distribution channels for your products, so that they have little to no likelihood of being sold in CA? Prop 65 labeling is just concerning to me, especially if most of your customer base is outside of the state of CA. Until I started working in the food industry, I never realized how many people really do take the time to read labels (I never did - unless I was curious about the ingredients for some reason). Obviously consumers with allergy issues, diabetics, and dieters read labels, but anytime we make any small changes to our labels, we hear it from our customers. Wouldn't this cause some unexpected backlash from consumers outside of CA if the label is just placed on the product without determining whether it really and truly needs one?

 

As far as the question the original poster had, I thought that the recommended consumption (serving sizes) chart provided by the FDA would be the standard unit to use for determining safe harbor levels. I'm unaware of having to figure out calculations for a consumer's gross misuse of product. I could be wrong though.






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