October 8, 2019

California Chamber of Commerce files lawsuit to stop acrylamide label warnings

The California Chamber of Commerce has filed a lawsuit to stop requirement of Prop 65 warning labels on foods and beverages than contain acrylamide.

Prop 65 Label Non OfficialProp 65 is a complex law that requires notifying residents if they are being exposed to a list of more than 900 chemicals.

Acrylamide is a chemical that naturally forms in some foods during high-temperature cooking, such as frying, roasting or baking. Fried potatoes — including french fries, hash browns and potato chips — are among the foods most commonly associated with acrylamide, but it is known to be present in many other foods, including breakfast cereals, coffee, peanut butter and roasted nuts.

The California Chamber of Commerce lawsuit states that “neither OEHHA (which oversees Prop 65) nor any other governmental entity has determined that acrylamide is a known human carcinogen.”

“This case is about clarifying for both businesses and consumers that food does not require Proposition 65 warnings for acrylamide,” said chamber president and CEO Allan Zaremberg in a statement. “This will reduce unnecessary fear for consumers and litigation threats for businesses.”

According to the 2018 U.S. Census estimate, California is home to 39.65 million people, which accounts for more than 12% of the U.S. consumer base.

Prop 65’s unique and stringent burden-of-proof requirements for companies to prove their products do not pose a risk of cancer to California residents has made it a lawsuit target for private enforcers around the U.S.