A California appeals court has affirmed a trial court ruling that averaging exposure to reproductive toxicants over a relevant “window of susceptability” time period specific to the chemical, and across product lots, was appropriate in a Proposition 65 case involving lead in baby and toddler foods. Environmental Law Foundation v. Beech-Nut Corp., (A129831, Alameda County Super. Ct. No. RG11597384, March 17, 2015). The plaintiffs have long contended that exceeding the maximum allowable dose level (MADL) on any day would trigger Proposition 65’s warning requirements. The ruling is a clear victory not only to food manufacturers and retailers, but to all industry members facing similar Proposition 65 challenges based on a single exposure theory. That theory, of course, is affecting current debates about food safety, consumer product safety, chemical regulation and green chemistry. This decision reflects a principle that we have long advocated: regulatory decisions must be grounded on sound scientific principles.
For more information on this case see Keller and Heckman’s Food and Drug Alert: California Appellate Court Holds That Reproductive Toxicants Can Be Averaged Over Time When Determining Exposure Under Proposition 65