California Residents Proposition 65 Warning FAQs

What is this warning?

Sometimes you will see a product for sale that has a label or a sticker with a warning along the lines of the following: California Proposition 65 WARNING: Consuming this product can expose you to chemicals including [chemical name] which is known to the State of California to cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm. For more information go to www.P65Warnings.ca.gov/food.

Prop 65 warnings are seen throughout California in a wide range of settings -- in restaurants, grocery stores, hotels, schools, hospitals, and on a wide variety of consumer products. In addition, some internet and mail order retailers have chosen to provide Prop 65 warnings on their websites or in catalogs for all consumers. These warnings are provided pursuant to a California labeling law called Proposition 65 (or Prop 65 for short), which is meant to notify individuals in California of potential exposures to Prop 65-listed chemicals. Prop 65 is a right-to-know law; it does not ban the sale of any products that contain these chemicals.

What kinds of substances are listed under Prop 65?

Over 900 chemicals have been listed under California Prop 65 as carcinogens or reproductive toxicants, or both. Examples of such chemicals include cadmium, mercury, and lead. Certain listed chemicals like lead are widely distributed throughout the environment in air, soil, water, and rocks. As a result, these types of chemicals are often naturally found in commonly eaten foods, even though these chemicals are not intentionally added.

How does NOW handle California Prop 65?

All foods naturally contain some amount of heavy metals from the earth. NOW’s extremely sensitive analytical instruments can detect parts-per-billion (nanograms per gram) levels, so we can’t claim any product to be 100 percent free of all heavy metals. All of our ingredients and blends are screened for heavy metals to ensure that they meet our strict specifications for safety and quality.

Where appropriate, we label items sold to customers and retailers in the State of California with Prop 65 warnings to ensure compliance with Prop 65. If you are ordering a product that contains a chemical that is on the Prop 65 list from nowfoods.com and the ship-to address is in California, you will be notified at checkout that the product can expose you to a chemical that is known to the State of California to cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm.

I’m confused, now what?

If you want more information, visit www.P65Warnings.ca.gov/food or ask the manufacturer to explain the warning. But please remember that just because another brand does not have the warning, does not necessarily mean that the other brand is free of the substance or has lower levels.