Prop65 Label? What’s That?

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How much do you know about the Prop65 label? If you’re ordering from us in California, you’ll be aware of Proposition 65 and the stringent regulations they uphold. For anyone outside of California or unaware of Prop65, here are the basics:

From the official website, “Proposition 65 requires businesses to provide warnings to Californians about significant exposures to chemicals that cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm. These chemicals can be in the products that Californians purchase, in their homes or workplaces, or that are released into the environment. By requiring that this information be provided, Proposition 65 enables Californians to make informed decisions about their exposures to these chemicals.” Prop65 was actually passed in 1986, and now includes about 900 chemicals listed. 

But just because a chemical is listed, it does not mean that a single consumption is going to lead to cancer or reproductive issues. The site elaborates that the “maximum allowable dose level” is saying at the level of which there has been no link to reproductive issues in animal studies, divided by 1,000, the given chemical is safe from creating a risk for reproductive safety. A business must demonstrate their product will have no observable effect at this very small amount in order to avoid the label. What many Californians also know is that coffee and coffee shops must have the Prop65 label. For cancer warnings, the chemical used in the product must be at a “no significant risk level” which amounts to daily consumption over a 70 year period must not raise cancer risk over 0.001% over all collection of 100,000 people. 

Most foods do contain levels of one or more Prop65 substance, such as arsenic, lead, and mercury, at levels higher than “allowable”. In fact, produce grown in CA average 4 times the limits of these standards. Some over 50 times the allowable limits. But produce only needs a label if sold in a container. 

It’s these fine details that many people do not know, so the label creates fear, even when the product itself may be safe to use or consume at an “average” amount.

These labels are often seen on plant based food options because of their use of rice, spices, vinegars. Many ingredients in plant based foods are browned through roasting, frying, or other heat treatment. Acrylamide is formed on the surface of plant based foods when they are browned or heated above 248 degrees Fahrenheit. This includes coffee, by the way. And this could present a greater cancer risk if consumed over time than foods that are not browned. Rice has been shown to absorb inorganic arsenic (though naturally occurring) through the soil. But though these chemicals are found in many meat alternatives, it does not mean that they stand a higher likelihood of causing cancer than actual red meat or processed meats. 

And beyond that, the National Cancer Institute states “”A large number of epidemiologic studies (both case-control and cohort studies) in humans have found no consistent evidence that dietary acrylamide exposure is associated with the risk of any type of cancer”

So why do Protea orders in CA have this label? This is a legal requirement based on our vegan protein ingredients, primarily pea and brown rice. All products that have a higher content of plant based ingredients will be tested over the limits set by Prop65. But does carrying this label mean our products are harmful? No. We are under the FDA limit for safety and the unfortunate stigma once the label is applied. We are tested twice for heavy metals and we are GMP certified.

We don’t want to over-simplify or diminish the reality that yes, there are ingredients in our foods, our health products, everywhere in our normal daily life that can contribute to cancer and other serious health problems. And it’s because of this awareness that we do hold ourselves to incredibly high personal and professional standards. We only want to provide healthy, safe, and beneficial products to our customers. We stand for true health. We also want to make sure that we do our part to help educate our customers and supporters on what they should be mindful of purchasing and consuming. A striking label like the Prop65 sticker can be alarming for the under-informed. Especially since many of our customers are soon-to-be or new moms who are very diligent about their informed choices for the sake their body and the healthy of their family. 

We hope that understanding the strict guidelines of Prop65 helps ease any worry about our products. Further information can be found on their official website https://oehha.ca.gov/proposition-65

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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