Proposition 65 doesn’t just impact Californians. Because out-of-state manufacturers have to comply with Prop 65 in order to sell their products in California, if a business produces a product that necessitates a Prop 65 warning label, it has to:
- Put a warning label on all of its products—even those sold outside of California. This is far from ideal as it would unnecessarily worry out-of-state consumers who aren’t used to seeing warning labels at every gas station, supermarket, airport, etc.
- Put a warning label only on the product that it sells in California. This option creates a problem in which a manufacturer has to have a separate batch of product just for one state, a logistical headache.
- Reformulate its product to remove any chemical listed on Prop 65. This is not always possible (consider alcohol producers—alcohol is considered a carcinogen by the state of California). And in cases where it is possible, manufacturers may replace a chemical that has been proven safe at typical exposure levels with a less thoroughly tested alternative. Reformulation also comes with costs that are often passed onto consumers in the form of higher prices.
- Consider no longer selling its product in California. Because of these challenges, a number of companies have opted for the final option—ceasing sales of their product in California. Companies including Dunkin’ Donuts and Wholesale Unlimited have chosen that route.