A recent Federal Court decision on the issue of whether to grant a preliminary injunction in the ongoing saga of the appropriateness of adding the pesticide Glyphosate to the CA Prop 65 list (see prior posts, here and here) has become the grist for the “Fake News” phenomenon. More specifically, Momsacrossamerica.org issued a press release on February 28, 2018 entitled “Judge Says Public Doesn’t Need Cancer Warning.”

However, a quick scan of the decision issued on February 26th reveals that the judge did no such thing. Continue Reading Prop 65 Preliminary Injunction and “Fake News”

Much of the recent discussion regarding Prop 65 has been focused on the regulatory changes going into effect in August of 2018. And that makes sense since there will be significant changes to the warnings, responsibility, and labeling obligations on product websites. There is, however, other activity that may result in a more profound change as to which chemicals require Prop 65 warnings.  As we have discussed in the past (see prior post here), there has been litigation in California state court addressing the appropriateness of adding the pesticide ingredient Glyphosate to the Prop 65 list. Continue Reading A Federal Court Gets Opportunity to Weigh In on Prop 65 With a Little Help from Some Friends

California’s Safe Drinking Water & Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 (affectionately known as “Proposition 65”) has long been the subject of discussion, both pro and con. Much of the conversation is on various issues surrounding the enforcement of Proposition 65 (for example, see a prior post here). In March 2017, a California trial court in  Monsanto Co. v. Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (“OEHHA”), No. 16-CE CG 00183, addressed a much more basic issue: should a chemical – here Glyphosate, a key ingredient in Monsanto’s Round-Up® product – even be on Prop 65’s list of cancer-causing chemicals? Continue Reading California’s Prop 65: More Form Over Substance

Last month, the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (“OEHHA”) adopted new Proposition 65 warning regulations.  Much of the discussions regarding these new regulations have centered on the warning requirements that become effective, after an approximately two-year phase-in period, in August 2018.

There were, however, amendments to Prop 65 settlement terms, penalty amounts and attorney’s fees in civil actions filed by private persons that became effective on October 1, 2016.  These amendments have “flown under the radar” but actually may be more problematic than the proposed new warnings.

Proposition 65 permits private citizens (known by the plaintiff’s bar as “citizen enforcers”) to initiate enforcement actions, and, when they do, they are entitled to 25% of any penalties assessed by the courts and attorney’s fees.  Continue Reading California Prop 65: More Unintended Consequences

Last month, we wrote about the toxic chemicals legislation bouncing between the Vermont House and Senate (click here for our prior post).  On May 9, 2014, the Vermont Legislature gave final approval to the bill, S.239, which gives the Vermont Department of Health the authority to require manufacturers to report, label, and remove chemicals it considers harmful from products for children.  The Senate voted 26-3 to concur with the scaled-back House version of the bill, ultimately limiting the scope of the bill by omitting the phrase “or any consumer product whose substantial use or handling by children under 12 years of age is reasonably foreseeable.”  Governor Shumlin is expected to sign the bill in the next few weeks.  The law will then take effect immediately.

Key deadlines include: Continue Reading Update: Vermont Legislature Passes Toxic Chemicals Bill

On May 5, 2014, the Vermont Senate gave final approval to a bill that would ramp up regulatory scrutiny of the chemicals found in children’s products.  The bill, S.239, gives the Vermont Department of Health the authority to require manufacturers to report, label, and remove chemicals it considers harmful from products for children.  Until now, the Legislature has had the sole authority to regulate or ban specific chemicals.  This bill transfers full regulatory authority to the Department of Health.

In an April 29, 2014 vote, the Vermont House had significantly limited the scope of the bill previously approved by the Senate from all consumer products to only products for children 12 and under.  In its May 5th vote, the Senate re-amended the bill to expand this definition to include products that children 12 and under are likely to come into contact with.

Here are some highlights of the most recently-approved version of the Vermont bill: Continue Reading Vermont Senate OKs Chemicals Bill