Prop 65 Preliminary Injunction ‘A Big Victory’ for Business Community

Brian German Industry, Nuts & Grapes

A recent decision pertaining to Proposition 65 is being described as a win for California’s business community. The case centers around acrylamide and the need for Prop 65 warnings on products that contain the compound. The Federal Circuit Court for the Eastern District ruling was issued in the case, California Chamber of Commerce v. Becerra. At issue was the requirement for food and beverage product labels to include cancer warnings for acrylamide.

prop 65

“The judge basically granted a preliminary injunction that was sought by the California Chamber of Commerce on this. So, they can’t move forward with requiring the Prop 65 statements on food that may have acrylamide,” said Roger Isom, President, and CEO of the Western Agricultural Processors Association. “We’re glad to see it. We’ll have to see how it plays out to get the final ruling, but at least for now it’s on hold and I think that’s a big victory.”

The ruling prohibits further lawsuits against businesses that do not include Prop 65 warnings for acrylamide. District Court Judge Kimberly Mueller determined that the state did not adequately show that acrylamide warranted Prop 65 warnings. “What the judge cited in making the ruling is basically the lack of evidence explaining that these actually cause cancer in the setting that we’re talking about,” Isom explained.

Acrylamide has been a hot topic when it comes to Prop 65. Despite a continued focus on acrylamide, there is still a relatively limited understanding of its relationship to cancer. Although the preliminary injunction prevents new lawsuits, industry members will be waiting for a final ruling in the Chamber’s case.

“It doesn’t affect anything that was already entered into a settlement,” Isom noted. “But for anybody who hadn’t gone down that road yet or hadn’t been basically held for extortion to list acrylamide on there for nuts or whatever being a potential source, they don’t have to do that now. At least until the final ruling is issued.”

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Brian German

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Ag News Director, AgNet West