CPDA Joins with Allied Industry Partners in Commenting on Proposed Changes to Proposition 65 Product Label Warning Requirements

On July 5, 2018, CPDA joined with CropLife America, Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment (RISE), and the Household Commercial Products Association (HCPA) in submitting comments to California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) regarding pending changes to product label warning requirements under California Proposition 65. The proposed changes are scheduled to go into effect on August 30, 2018. CPDA and the other groups voiced concerns that the proposed Proposition 65 safe harbor warning requirements conflict with EPA requirements for pesticide labeling under FIFRA and objected that the Proposition 65 warning requirement on a FIFRA-registered product would contradict EPA approved precautionary language and use directions.  The groups argued that the proposed changes do not address the primacy of FIFRA labeling requirements which “foster uniformity in warnings throughout the United States and relieve interstate producers from duplicative burdens to obtain multiple approvals from state and federal agencies.”

Moreover, CPDA and the other groups emphasized that an EPA decision to register a product is “tantamount to a determination that the exposure to a Proposition 65-listed chemical from the use of that product in a manner consistent with the labeling precautions and instructions for use does not reach the level of exposure that would require a Proposition 65 warning.  CPDA and the others pointed out that given the risk-based nature of the FIFRA registration scheme and its label-warning system, a Proposition 65 warning on the label of a product “implicitly contradicts not only the use instructions and precautionary statements that FIFRA requires and U.S. EPA has approved, but also the registration itself.”

The groups also raised concerns that the competing Proposition 65-specific warning requirements could serve as a precedent for other states to follow thereby leading to confusion not only within industry, but for consumers and regulators as well.  CPDA continues to work with its allied trade association partners and provide additional input to California regulators and EPA in seeking to resolve the dilemma that would be created under the pending Proposition 65 product label warning requirements. To access a copy of the joint industry comments, please click here.

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Diane Schute

All stories by: Diane Schute