California Governor Wants to Curtail Frivolous "Shake-Down" Proposition 65 Lawsuits | Proposes Reforms

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Stoel Rives attorney Melissa Jones spoke with Natural Products Insider about California Governor Jerry Brown's announcement of proposed reforms to California's Proposition 65. Passed in 1986 by California voters, Prop 65 requires businesses to "provide a 'clear and reasonable' warning before knowingly and intentionally exposing" individuals to a list of chemicals that are known to cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm. Roughly 800 chemicals are subject to the warnings, and the law has led to 16,000 lawsuits and nearly $500 million in settlements.

In a statement released Tuesday, Governor Brown said the California Environmental Protection Agency would work closely with the California Legislature and stakeholders to revamp Proposition 65 by ending frivolous "shake-down" lawsuits, improving how the public is warned about dangerous chemicals and strengthening the scientific basis for warning levels.

Jones called the Governor's proposals a positive step forward, noting the issue with abuses by some in the Proposition 65 plaintiff's bar. Jones believes the law needs to be reformed to further the intent of the law and to make compliance more feasible.

Read the full article on the Natural Products Insider website

Read Governor Brown's announcement of his Prop 65 reform proposals

"Will Prop 65 Proposed Reforms Benefit Foods, Supplements?" was published by Natural Products Insider, May 9, 2013.

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Melissa A. Jones
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