In its most recent effort to improve California Proposition 65 (Prop 65), the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) joined a coalition of nearly 140 organizations and companies to submit comments in response to the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment's (OEHHA's) proposal to reform this law.
AHPA has actively engaged California regulators to advocate Prop 65 reform in order to provide more meaningful warnings to consumers and reduce frivolous lawsuits. Most recently, OEHHA officials met with AHPA and expressed interest in AHPA's proposal for alternate warning language to better inform consumers.
"California's Proposition 65 needs to be reformed to ensure consumers receive useful information and to reduce frivolous litigation that hampers the responsible commerce of herbal products and supplements in California," said AHPA President Michael McGuffin. "AHPA continues to actively identify and take advantage of opportunities to improve this law."
In May 2013, California Governor Edmund G. Brown announced that his administration would work with state regulators to reform the 30-year-old law to reduce "frivolous, shakedown" lawsuits, improve how the public is warned about dangerous chemicals, and strengthen the scientific basis for warning levels.
"Many of the issues OEHHA has identified for potential regulatory action, if addressed appropriately, can help to achieve two of the Governor's proposed reforms," AHPA and the coalition write in comments submitted to OEHHA.
The coalition notes that many of the regulatory actions proposed by OEHHA can help to reduce frivolous “shakedown” lawsuits and strengthen the scientific basis for warning levels. However, the coalition also notes that, while OEHHA's current regulatory undertaking related to Prop 65 warning requirements appear to be aimed at achieving the Governor's calls for "improving how the public is warned about dangerous chemicals," it is questionable whether OEHHA's proposal accomplishes this goal.
To help OEHHA ensure future regulatory actions are in line with the Governor's proposed reforms, the coalition submitted comments to (1) explain if it is appropriate for OEHHA to address the specific issue, (2) briefly discuss the reasons for the coalition's position, and (3) provide general recommendations where appropriate.
The coalition also proposes three additional issues for OEHHA's consideration that were not identified in OEHHA's Request for Public Participation.