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Proposition 65 After 40 Years: Public Benefit or Enrichment for a Few?

The California Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, more commonly known as Proposition 65, has become a staple of California’s legal, and consumer products, landscape for over 4o years. Although the law in some instances has helped reduce the amount of certain chemicals, such as lead, in some consumer products, it has also generated a cottage industry of citizen plaintiffs and attorneys, some of whom have been enriched by manipulating the statute to their advantage. The legislature, the governor and the attorney general are well aware of the problems that have arisen from this well-intentioned yet flawed statute, but political realities have made meaningful reform elusive.

To help companies and industries that do business in California better understand the Prop 65 challenge and how to address it, Joshua Bloom, Principal and lead attorney for Meyers Nave’s Consumer Products Regulation Team, authored an article in The Recorder that explains the advantages plaintiffs have in their suits, the burden of proof placed on defendants, and the statutory parameters that control the courts. Josh also explains how the Prop 65 conundrum has played out in certain circumstances and cases. Please click here to read his article.