AHPA Requests OEHHA Withdraw Proposed Prop 65 Language on Beneficial Nutrients

Silver Spring, MD May 5, 2008 – The American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) has submitted comments to the California Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) requesting the office withdraw its proposed regulatory language on Proposition 65 warnings for chemicals that are both “beneficial to human health” and known by the state of California to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity. The association additionally requests OEHHA cease its regulatory process in this matter as such language is “unnecessary and probably irrelevant.”

The language proposed by OEHHA would set up a process that would only apply when a beneficial nutrient is also listed as a chemical known by the state of California to cause cancer or reproductive harm. But, this has only happened once since Proposition 65 became law in 1987, with Vitamin A (where the actual Proposition 65 listing is for “retinol/retinyl esters when in daily dosages in excess of 10,000 IU, or 3,000 retinol equivalents”). Referring to this example, AHPA’s comments also encourage OEHHA to include the level at which any listed chemical is identified as a carcinogen or reproductive toxin within any future listing, and note that if this mechanism is broadly adopted “there would be no need for the possible regulatory language.”

If OEHHA does not withdraw its proposal, the association further asserts “significant changes” to the proposal would be needed. Specifically, OEHHA narrowly defines a chemical beneficial to human health as one for which a daily value or allowance has been established by the Institute of Medicine’s Food and Nutrition Board, and OEHHA takes the erroneous and unscientific stance that Recommended Daily Allowances (RDAs) are relevant to safety evaluations.

AHPA deems it unacceptable to limit the definition of nutrients “beneficial to human health” to only those nutrients with recommended daily values or RDAs established by IoM. For instance, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) allows health claims and qualified health claims (QHCs) for nutrients such as soy, plant sterol/stanol esters, green tea and omega-3 fatty acids. If OEHHA goes forward with this process, AHPA requests the office make efforts to identify all beneficial nutrients, which extends far beyond both those nutrients with RDAs and those with health claims and QHCs.

“While AHPA appreciates OEHHA’s efforts in this matter, the association finds the proposed regulatory language unnecessary and arbitrary,” said AHPA President Michael McGuffin. “For this reason, we respectfully request OEHHA withdraw the language and halt all action on this matter.”

AHPA’s comments are available online:
http://www.ahpa.org/portals/0/pdfs/08_0502_AHPA_Comments_OEHHA_Beneficial Nutrients.pdf


The American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) is the only national trade association devoted to herbal issues. Representing the core of the botanical trade—comprised of the finest growers, processors, manufacturers and marketers of herbal products—our mission is to promote the responsible commerce of herbal products. AHPA committees generate self-regulations to ensure the highest level of quality with respect to the way herbal products are manufactured, labeled, and sold. Website: www.ahpa.org.

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