Editor's Note: The Los Angeles Times Editorial Board argues that Prop 65 lawsuits have prompted businesses to post prophylactic warnings regardless of the severity of the risk and warnings have become so common that consumers hardly notice them. The editorial was published as many businesses California that sell coffee may soon be required to display Prop 65 warnings to alert consumers that coffee products contain the possibly carcinogenic chemical acrylamide.

Los Angeles Times
September 30, 2017

Dangerous chemicals are so widespread, it's impossible to conduct a normal life without encountering them. This is why it is important to warn consumers about serious health risks, not merely conjectural ones. Proposition 65 is not accomplishing that, and by rendering people numb to the warnings, it may in fact be doing more harm than good.

The prospect that warnings might be added to every cup of coffee seemed like a joke back in 1986, when opponents of the proposal touted its potential misuse. We pooh-poohed those claims at the time, even though we opposed the initiative as too inflexible.

"To be sure, the potential problems would not approach the grossly exaggerated levels predicted by the anti-Proposition 65 campaign, led by oil and chemical companies and the agriculture industry," we wrote. "Passage of Proposition 65 will not lead to the banning of ordinary table salt or require warning labels on every apple sold or cup of coffee served in California."

For more news from AHPA, follow us on social media: 

Manage your AHPA email subscriptions
Already subscribed? Manage your alerts by clicking on the "Update Profile" link below.