The Healthy Living Foundation (HLF) has notified Flowers Bakeries, Tyson Foods, and Kroger that they are potentially in violation of California’s Prop 65.
According to the warning letter, Sara Lee 100% Whole Wheat Bread in the 16 oz package contains levels of malathion that exceeds regulatory limits.
Malathion is listed under California’s Proposition 65 as a chemical that is hazardous to human health, reproduction or presents a risk of birth defects. The warning letter alleges that individuals who buy the bread could be exposed to Prop 65 chemicals and must be warned under the law.
Flowers Bakeries, Tyson Foods, and Kroger “have manufactured, marketed, distributed and/or sold the specified product which has exposed and continues to expose numerous individuals within California to malathion,” contends HLF in their warning letter.
According to the warning letter, malathion, was listed under Prop 65 in May of 2016.
“Proposition 65 requires that a ‘clear and reasonable’ warning be provided prior to exposure to certain listed chemicals,” contends HLF in their letter. “The Noticed Parties are in violation of Proposition 65 because the Noticed Parties have failed to provide a warning to consumers that they are being exposed to malathion. While in the course of doing business, the Noticed Parties are ‘knowingly and intentionally’ exposing consumers to malathion without first providing a ‘clear and reasonable’ warning.”
Kroger, Tyson, and Flowers Bakeries can either eliminate or reduce the amount of malathion in the Sara Lee bread to an allowable level under Prop 65 or provide appropriate warning labels, says the letter.
The companies will also be required to pay a civil penalty according to HLF.
Otherwise, warns the letter, a Prop 65 lawsuit will be initiated against the companies
Prop 65 Chemicals
Proposition 65, also known as “The Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act,” was approved by California voters in 1986. Each year the State of California publishes a list of chemicals known to cause human health problems. A number of committees continually evaluate chemicals used in products for their effect on human health. More than 800 chemicals have been identified as hazardous under Prop 65.
Companies that manufacture and distribute products containing Prop 65 chemicals must warn California consumers before the consumer is exposed. Alternatively, as noted by HLF in their warning letter to Kroger, Tyson, and Flowers Bakeries, companies can remove or reduce the presence of the chemical to an allowable level under the regulation. If a company fails to do so, they can be held accountable by civil penalties and additional legal action.
Prop 65 helps keep consumers safe from exposure to chemicals that may be hazardous to their health.
The attorneys at Bradley/Grombacher are currently investigating Prop 65 claims and would be happy to help concerned consumers and other groups navigate the complex law.
Note: Bradley/Grombacher is not representing the plaintiff in this lawsuit.