The "Naturally Occurring" Defense In Proposition 65 Cases Involving Food Products

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California's Proposition 65 requires businesses to provide reasonable warnings before knowingly and intentionally exposing individuals to chemicals known to the state to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity. This duty to warn is triggered once an exposure to a listed chemical exceeds the “no significant risk” level for carcinogens or 1,000 times the “no observable effect” level for reproductive toxins. The issue in many Proposition 65 cases is whether the alleged exposures reach these trigger levels in the first instance, and if they do, whether the defendant that caused the exposures has a defense to liability for failure to warn.

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