The board of trustees of the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) voted to support legislation introduced on Feb. 4 by California Assemblyman Mike Gatto, D-Los Angeles, that would amend the state's Proposition 65. The action came during the board's March meeting in Anaheim, Calif.
Consumer goods sold in the state of California are, with certain exceptions, subject to that state's Proposition 65, the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986. The law places specific labeling requirements on products sold in California if the product contains chemicals listed by the state as carcinogens or reproductive toxicants. Failure to provide such warnings can result in action by the California Attorney General or by "any person in the public interest."
Gatto's bill, AB 227, would amend Section 25249.7 of the California Health and Safety Code by providing companies in receipt of a 60-day notice alleging a violation a 14-day period to correct the violation to avoid any financial penalties.
By allowing a business time to correct the violation within 14 days without being subject to the retroactive $2,500 per day fine, AB 227, which is supported by the Small Business Advisory Commission formed by Gatto this year, would further the original intent of Prop. 65--to obtain compliance with warnings for chemicals present in a product or at a retail site, according to Gatto.
"AHPA is formally endorsing this amendment to Proposition 65 as a common-sense approach to enforcing the law," said Michael McGuffin, AHPA president. "And while Assemblyman Gatto's proposal was written with retail establishments in his district in mind, it may also provide a better way for food and supplement manufacturers that sell products in the state to provide warnings when these are required."