The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other health authorities have determined that tiny traces of naturally occurring minerals in foods are unavoidable and do not present a public health risk. Although all foods grown in nature contain levels of naturally occurring elements and minerals, there are unavoidable traces occurring in virtually all foods, including fish, meats, grains, fruits and vegetables.
Currently, the California law contains what is known as the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act, also known as Proposition 65. Prop 65 is a California-only law that requires products sold in California to bear warning notices about potential exposure to any of the 800 substances listed by the state. While Prop 65 does not ban any products from sale in California, it requires a warning on the listed chemicals contained in the products. No other state has a similar law that requires these warnings although the chemicals contained are far below the levels known to cause actual harm.
Many plants, plant extracts, and minerals used in dietary supplement products contain trace levels of chemicals. Although none of these elements are added by farmers and good manufacturing practices have been made to eliminate contaminations, the food and dietary supplement industries have been enforced to post these warnings. Acrylamide, for instance, is a chemical naturally produced on heat roasted products such as ground or instant coffee, baked goods, and other beverages. For this reason, industries have been placed in a circumstance to provide cancer warnings despite the level of chemicals.
This being said, the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) has proposed a regulation that would exempt coffee from requiring a warning. With studies concluding that coffee reduces serious risks and contains many health benefits, including longevity, the FDA also strongly supports this proposal as well.
While we wait for the regulations’ approval, we have decided to provide information on Prop 65 as we believe it is the customers’ right to know about this ongoing issue. We believe that the chemicals listed by Prop 65 should be exempt under the “naturally occurring allowance” exception and like many other companies, we have chosen to provide information on our website instead of engaging in the legal court case.
For specifics on Prop 65, we recommend that you reach out to the National Coffee Association or visit their statement below.