Bryan Cave attorney Merrit Jones recently published two client alerts regarding California’s Prop 65 that impact the food and agriculture industries.
The first alert relates to the bisphenol-A (BPA) listing that took effect on May 11, 2016. Already, two notices of violation have been served alleging harmful exposure to the chemical without providing a warning. One notice alleges BPA in receipt paper, and another alleges BPA in plastic water cooler jugs. BPA is believed to be present in a wide variety of plastic consumer products, including many reusable food and drink containers, as well as in the epoxy lining in most canned food and beverage containers. OEHHA has adopted an emergency regulation authorizing temporary point-of-sale warnings for exposure to BPA from canned and bottled food and beverages. That regulation is expected to remain in effect for more than a year in order to allow manufacturers time to implement alternatives to BPA. The regulation does not authorize point-of-sale warnings for other consumer products.
The second alert discusses California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard (OEHHA) announcement that it has added a group of broadleaf herbicides to the list of chemicals under Proposition 65 known to cause reproductive harm. The warning requirement for atrazine, propazine, simazine, and their chlorometabolites will take effect on July 15, 2017. Atrazine is widely used in growing corn and sugarcane, and on turf such as golf courses and residential laws. Propazine is used for sorghum crops, and simazine is widely used in growing grapes, apples, citrus, corn and wheat. Other chemicals recently added to the Prop. 65 list include sedaxane and styrene. Sedaxane is a seed treatment fungicide, and styrene is used to make a wide variety of food service and packaging products, such as drinking cups, egg cartons, meat packaging, plates and bowls, and take-out containers.