In a news release published on February 4, 2016 the U.S. chemical industry trade association American Chemistry Council (ACC) speaks out against changes in warning label regulations under the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 (Proposition 65) proposed by the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA), California, U.S.. Under Proposition 65, “chemicals known to cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm” are listed in California “to inform citizens about exposures to such chemicals.” OEHHA has proposed that warning labels on affected consumer products must identify at least one chemical listed under Proposition 65. This shall make Proposition 65 warnings more visible and give consumers the opportunity to seek additional information on specific chemicals via OEHHA’s website.

The ACC submitted comments to OEHHS’s proposal criticizing the warning label changes and claiming they will “lead to more consumer confusion, more uncertainty for business, and more private enforcement actions.” Further, “this type of warning omits important information that consumers need to make product decisions,” the ACC states. More generally, the ACC suggests “the only way to address the many problems with Proposition 65 is through significant statutory reforms to this 30-year-old law.”

In contrast to the U.S. Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) regulating chemicals on national level, California has more stringent state laws protecting citizens from toxic chemicals. Reform bills passed by the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives to modernize TSCA might overrule states efforts to regulate chemicals (FPF reported). The ACC supports reforming TSCA (FPF reported) and was speculated to have co-authored the Senate’s reform bill (FPF reported).

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ACC (February 4, 2016). “OEHHA’s proposed changes to Proposition 65 warning labels will further confuse consumers.

Chemical Watch (February 9, 2016). “ACC calls for ‘significant statutory reforms’ to Prop 65.

Chemical Watch (November 26, 2015). “California withdraws proposed Prop 65 labelling provision.