California customers: Prop 65
Proposition 65 is a unique California law that requires businesses to include a warning on any products that contain quantifiable amounts of over 800 possible chemicals, many of which are naturally occurring.
Some botanicals (even those grown and processed organically) contain low levels of lead which is often naturally occurring, and our botanical products are well below FDA's current tolerable intake levels (and many times less than the amount shown to cause harm in adults). See below for more information regarding Prop 65 labeling.
Proposition 65 is a unique California law that requires businesses to include a warning on any products that contain quantifiable amounts of over 800 possible chemicals, many of which are naturally occurring. We assure you that our products are safe and we thoroughly test all of them to comply with federal and industry standards for safety. Because of the unique nature of this state-specific law which only applies to California, we are obliged to place a Prop 65 warning on all products which are shipped to that state. This warning is the same one that is found throughout hotels, gas stations, airports, golf courses, public parks, and other public buildings found throughout the state.
Our supply chain includes companies based in the United States that easily fall within federally mandated safety levels for lead, and have food safety controls in place utilizing up-to-date testing technologies and the assistance of third party laboratories.
We, at Aromatic Spice Blends, LLC are dedicated to bringing you only the finest products.
Proposition 65 was passed in 1986 with the intention of increasing accountability and preventing people and companies from dumping toxic material in California waters. It is known as "The Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986," and it enforces the idea that people have the right to know about the presence of dangerous chemicals in their food and water. On this basic level, it is a well-spirited law which we enthusiastically support. However, in practice it is misleading and inconsistent, creating a culture of endless warnings and resource-draining lawsuits.
Chemicals recognized by the State of California to contain carcinogens or cause reproductive harm are subject to the requirements of Prop 65 and one of the most cited chemicals is lead, which naturally occurs in soil, water, and the ocean. According to Prop 65 the content of lead has particularly stringent regulations, requiring a warning if its presence exceeds 0.5 micrograms in any given product per day. This is nearly 1,000 times lower than the amount known to cause reproductive harm according to the federal government.
Prop 65 is enforced entirely by way of civil lawsuits brought about by organizations seeking monetary gain in the form of a settlement, and rarely (if ever) is action ever brought by the state's attorney general.
This form of litigation puts businesses in a defensive position, forcing them to comply, regardless of the safety of their products. Indeed, Prop 65 warning signs appear all over California, on restaurants, apartment buildings, gas stations, banks, and anywhere else that could theoretically be in violation. Because there is no penalty for over-posting, businesses place warnings as a measure to ensure the safety of their commodities. This results in an ocean of vague and faulty information, hiding shady business practices while vilifying the compliant.
If a company can prove that a chemical naturally occurs in its products, it is exempt from Prop 65. As an example, the American daily average for black pepper consumption contains 10 times the "safe harbor" level of safrole, a naturally occurring chemical listed under Prop 65 as a carcinogen. But because it is naturally occurring, companies have not yet been required to warn the public about black pepper.
The presence of lead is a bit more complex. Over the past century, industrial change in the United States and in the developing world has created an increase in the amount of lead distributed across the environment. The use of leaded gasoline and the burning of coal and other fossil fuels have damaged the environment, spreading the pollutant into the atmosphere. In turn, this lead has been redistributed in rainwater, our oceans, and through soil seepage where it is absorbed by plant life.
For this reason, it isn't possible to claim that the lead content appearing in our products is entirely natural. Even though lead is never added to any of our products, and fertilizers containing heavy metals (which includes lead) are prohibited in organic farming, our products are safe, and proving that lead only occurs naturally is prohibitively expensive. Prop 65 is written in a way that places the burden of proof on businesses rather than on the government. If a business cannot prove that the chemical content in their products is natural, then they must provide a warning label or face litigation.
We routinely request Certificates of Analysis for all of our sourced ingredients. These certificates include details about safety and quality testing, including whether the botanical has been tested for lead.
For more information on Proposition 65 please refer to Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment.