How Prop 65 Affects Your Supplements!
By Neenah Payne
Note: This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment provided by a qualified healthcare provider. There are no product affiliate links — all products are offered as personal recommendations from the author of this article. There is, however, one Amazon film affiliate link from Natural Blaze.
In Organixx podcast “Episode 8 Prop 65: What You Need to Know”, Jonathan Hunsaker, Organixx founder, and TeriAnn Trevenen, Organixx CEO, discussed California’s Prop 65 because it is causing a lot of confusion in the supplement industry. TeriAnn explained that Proposition 65 is a California initiative formally known as the “Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986”. It was passed by a direct voter initiative by a 62% to 37% vote. Its goals are to protect drinking water sources from toxic substances that may cause cancer and birth effects and to reduce or eliminate exposure to those chemicals by requiring warnings on consumer products.
TeriAnn said that Prop 65 requires warning labels about cancer and/or birth defects if the product exceeds certain limits. She pointed out that the Prop 65 levels are so low that labels are required on products even for levels that people normally consume in foods we eat. The warnings are required only for the state of California. The FDA already regulates supplements nationally.
California Air and Water Exceed Prop 65 Requirements
Jonathan pointed out that Prop 65 was designed to help inform the public. However, now 30 years later, it has gone a little overboard. Now, there are 900 chemicals listed on Prop 65. Some of what Prop 65 requires as “safe limits” is just unreasonable. Jonathan discussed the difference between what Prop 65 determines as safe versus what the FDA says is safe.
Jonathan used the requirements for lead as an example. The FDA says that 75 mcg of lead is safe for an adult, 25 mcg for pregnant women, and 6 mcg for children. However, Prop 65 requires a warming label if the lead content exceeds 0.5 mcg. Jonathan put that in context by pointing out that both the air and water in Los Angeles would fail the Prop 65 test! So, it’s crazy to have to put labels on products warning about the level of lead that people consume every day just by breathing and drinking water!
Jonathan pointed out that there are hundreds of small businesses that are struggling now with how to handle the Prop 65 requirements which are not realistic and don’t properly inform consumers about safety issues. Prop 65 is causing a lot of confusion.
Natural Foods Exceed Prop 65 Lead Limits
Jonathan gave avocados as another example. An avocado has 4.5 mcg of lead – 8 times higher than what Prop 65 says is healthy. However, because it is a whole food, avocados are not required to have a label. However, if avocado is included in a processed food, a label would be required.
Honey and raw watermelon each have 4.5 mcg of lead. Dried raisins have 3.5 mcg, raw cucumber has 3.4 mcg, raw peaches have 3.4, and raw red apples have 2.6 mcg of lead. These foods are 6-7 times the limit of what Prop 65 says is safe. Yet, these are naturally-occurring sources. These plants are getting the lead from the soil. While these examples are well below the FDA limits, all of them exceed the Prop 65 requirements.
Jonathan explained that there’s no way to limit the lead in the plants unless they are grown in a soil so depleted of vitamins and minerals that there’s no nutrient value in the vegetable or fruit.
Lead Levels in Other Foods
Jonathan provided the following additional examples of foods that exceed Prop 65 lead limits of 0.5 micrograms. Some of the natural foods are 7-8 times the limit of what Prop 65 determines is safe. Because they are whole foods, they are not required to have Prop 65 stickers. However, supplements that include any of these foods require a sticker!
- Italian salad dressing: 12.2 micrograms
- Fried Beef Liver: 9 micrograms
- Boiled Spinach: 7 micrograms
- Dry Red Wine: 6.8 micrograms
- Raw Avocado: 4.5 micrograms
- Raw Watermelon: 4.5 micrograms
- Honey: 4.5 micrograms
- Dried Raisins: 3.5 micrograms
- Raw Peach: 3.4 micrograms
- Raw Cucumber: 3.4 micrograms
- Raw Red Apple: 2.6 micrograms
TeriAnn explained that when Organixx sells supplements on Amazon, Prop 65 stickers can’t be applied just to supplements sold to people in California. The stickers have to be on all the products.
Jonathan pointed out that a lot of companies would rather run the risk of lawsuits for non-compliance than place a sticker on their supplements. So, supplements that don’t have stickers are not necessarily safer than ones with stickers. He advised people to contact companies whose supplements have Prop 65 stickers and ask for their test results. Ask which ingredients failed and by how much. Jonathan said Organixx puts Prop 65 stickers on required products to give consumers the ability to choose because people who prefer to abide by those limits have a right to do so.
Stand-Alone Lead vs. Bonded Lead
Jonathan pointed out that there are 900 elements on the Prop 65 list. The ones that impact Organixx are lead and arsenic – which occur naturally in whole foods. Jonathan agreed that lead as a stand-alone element can be dangerous. However, he discussed the difference for health between natural lead and lead that is bonded with another element.
“Lead is a natural part of our planet in sea water, fresh water, and soil, and even in air. Every time you take a walk along a beach or breathe fresh mountain air, you are being exposed to the tiniest amount of lead, 50 to 400 parts per million of the surface of our planet, according to the EPA. Should we be worried? Trace amounts of lead might sound like a very bad thing, but the FDA has determined that consuming less than 75 micrograms of lead does not lead to health complications.
The really good news is that, on a chemical level, lead likes to make friends. Nearly all the lead in our environment is bound to other elements like zinc, copper, silver, and others….There’s a trace amount of lead that bonded long ago with clay molecules and other trace elements. That bond prevents lead from accumulating in our bodies.
Why does a bond matter? …. Each cell in our bodies depends on a specific compound to stay alive, one part sodium and one part chloride. Potentially deadly by themselves, these ions combined to create sodium chloride, or salt, without which we couldn’t survive. Similarly, lead by itself is very different from lead that has already bonded to other elements or molecules.
“Ingesting lead that isn’t bonded is dangerous for the same rare reason. Ingesting already bonded lead isn’t; the bond is really hard to break. The nature of Bentonite clay means any lead is already bonded, which is why the FDA agrees it’s unlikely that any lead in Bentonite clay would remain in the body if ingested.”
The existing molecular bond remains in place, and any lead is flushed from your system, along with other toxins that bond to neighboring clay molecules…Alone, lead molecules pose health risks. When bonded with other elements and compounds, which is the case with Redmond Clay, the bond is too strong for our bodies to break. Any bonded lead leaves the natural way, still bound to the same molecules as when we ingested it.
Prop 65 vs. National Supplement Standards
TeriAnn said that people can go to https://oag.ca.gov/prop65 to learn more. She pointed out that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates both finished dietary supplement products and dietary ingredients. So, the FDA already regulates the supplement industry. California is the only state that has a proposition like Prop 65. TeriAnn says that better standards are a good idea, but Prop 65 may have taken requirements to an extreme.
Jonathan said that he loves the idea of regulations that help ensure that products in the market are clean, and good, and of high quality. He pointed out that because the supplement industry is not regulated very much, it’s difficult to know which of the many supplements online can be trusted.
However, Jonathan pointed out that regulations must be reasonable. He believes that the FDA regulations of 75 mcg of lead for pregnant women might be too high. So, he proposes that there might be a happy medium between 0.5 mcg Prop 65 limit and FDA requirement. The European Food Safety Authority estimates that the average adult consumes around 50 mcg. of lead per day – which is 100 times the Prop 65 limit.
However, TeriAnn said that one of the benefits of Prop 65 is that it may be pushing more supplement companies to test the ingredients of their products. Jonathan pointed out that Organixx recently launched a collagen called Clean-Sourced Collagen which went through the testing with flying colors. TeriAnn explained that it is probably one of the cleanest collagens on the market. Jonathan said he thinks that it is THE cleanest collagen on the market – but he can’t make that claim!
Jonathan emphasized that when you buy any supplement – whether it has a Prop 65 sticker or not – you should request the test results. He said that Organixx plans to publish its test results online. There are legal ways to do that to protect the labs that furnish the information.
Organic vs Non-Organic Arsenic
Jonathan quoted from the FDA site on arsenic which says: “Arsenic is a chemical element present in the environment from both natural and human sources.” The site discusses the difference between organic and inorganic arsenic and points out that some rice and seafood contain the less toxic organic arsenic.
That link in the podcast footnotes is no longer active and the FDA site has no link on arsenic in foods. However, the FDA PDF Arsenic in Rice and Rice Cereal: What You Need To Know offers some insights.
Organixx 7M+ Mushroom Supplement
Jonathan pointed out that the Organixx 7M+ mushroom supplement fails the Prop 65 limit on arsenic by a small amount. It’s the first product Organixx created and it has only organic mushrooms. It is an extremely nutrient-dense product that everyone should be taking. However, Prop 65 makes it look like there is something wrong with the supplement! Yet, that is simply a confusion between organic and inorganic arsenic.
Mushrooms naturally absorb arsenic from the soil. Jonathan pointed out that this brings up the question of organic vs. inorganic supplements. A non-organic supplement may contain arsenic from a pesticide or that was sprayed on a plant. This is why it’s important to have organic ingredients. That’s why all of the mushrooms in the 7M+ supplement are organic. Prop 65 doesn’t allow consumers to see that there is NO inorganic arsenic in the supplement.
Organixx Whole Food Supplements
Jonathan explained that whole foods are not required to have the Prop 65 sticker. He says that since all the ingredients in Organixx supplements are whole foods, they should not require a sticker either. TeriAnn pointed out that the ingredients in Organixx supplements are also organic. However, Organixx supplements are extremely clean and also have nutritional value that people are not getting in their everyday foods. So, putting the warning on the supplements confuses people.
Supplements that don’t have the Prop 65 are not necessarily healthier than those that do. Companies may choose to ignore Prop 65 or may not even know that it exists. Jonathan and TeriAnn live in Texas. Organixx products are manufactured in New York.
Jonathan pointed out that Organixx uses mushrooms in its Turmeric 3D supplement and its 7M+ supplement uses seven different mushrooms. The supplements are organic, clean, and nutrient-dense. The testimonials are strong with 4.5 to 5 stars on reviews. Yet, there is no way they can pass Prop 65 because all mushrooms naturally have levels of lead and arsenic that exceed Prop 65 limits. The testing on the Turmeric 3D was 0.515 mcg – over by one one hundredth of the Prop 65 limit of 0.5 micrograms.
Jonathan explained that the Organixx supplements are rigorously tested for lead, arsenic, cadmium, and mercury. None of them come close to the Prop 65 levels for cadmium or mercury. Lead appears on a few of the products and one product is just a little over on arsenic. There’s no way to meet such unrealistic requirements on lead because Organixx products use whole food ingredients. In addition, the nutrients are highly concentrated.
Mercury and Radiation Limits Raised For Fish
Jonathan pointed out that the FDA has repeatedly raised the permissible limits for mercury and radiation in fish – perhaps so companies can continue to sell those fish even as those elements increase.
Label GMO Foods!
Jonathan made the very valuable point that organic foods have been around since the beginning of time and should not require labels. It is the GMO products that should be forced to provide labels!
Free Film “Secret Ingredients” May 15! shows that when Vermont tried to require labels on GMO foods in 2016, Congress passed the “DARK Act” which forbade the labeling of GMO foods in any state. That’s in spite of the fact that GMO foods are banned or labeled in over 60 countries around the world.
Jeffrey Smith’s film Secret Ingredients shows that the introduction of GMO foods correlates with the sudden explosion of chronic illnesses across the nation in what is now an epidemic that threatens the healthcare system and the very survival of the US on several levels. Jonathan and TeriAnn interviewed Jeffrey in podcasts “Episode 29 The Dirty Secrets About Your Food That They Don’t Want You To Know” and “Episode 30 Organic and GMO Myths Exposed”, which you can watch below.
Top image credit: Pixabay