Several environmental groups say objects accessible to visitors at Disney parks, such as brass knobs, test positive for lead. “The groups filed suit against Disneyland in April based on a California law that requires businesses to post warnings when lead levels in fixtures and other items exceed certain levels.” Lead in brass and similar stable alloys is often regarded as posing little or no danger as compared with lead in more readily ingestible forms, but has nonetheless been swept in for similar treatment under various ill-conceived laws. [Orlando Sentinel]
“When consumers in California visit the Dunkin’ Donuts website hoping to order a bag of their favorite java, they are met with the following message: ‘Important Notice: We are temporarily suspending the shipment of orders to California while we work to comply with Proposition 65 with the State of California. We apologize for any inconvenience.’” Acrylamide, a compound naturally present in many roasted or cooked foods, is among the hundreds of substances that must be warned against under Prop 65, which has led, as we noted in May, to a lawsuit against more than 40 coffee companies. [TechNewsWorld] Author Vivian Wagner quotes me:
“The law empowers private litigants to enforce its terms without having to show that any consumer has been exposed to any material or substantial risk, let alone harmed,” Walter Olson, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, told the E-Commerce Times. “As a result, entrepreneurial law firms roam the state identifying new, often far-fetched, unwarned-of risks and extracting cash settlements along with promises to warn from hapless defendants.”
The latest surprising application of California’s toxic-warnings law [Ken Odza]
The Consumer Product Safety Commission has repeatedly delayed the implementation of the testing and certification rules required by the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008, the economics of which is likely to capsize many smaller producers. Now time may be running out for further extensions after the Feb. 10 deadline. [Rick Woldenberg, AmendTheCPSIA.com] Comments from affected parties are here.
Bruce Nye (Cal Biz Lit) and Michael Pappas (at Law.com Corporate Counsel) count the ways: “Why do I have to tell everyone that my grilled chicken, which is made the same way as my grandmother used to make it, may cause cancer?” (The answer being California-specific Proposition 65.)
Bruce Nye has a photo of a pointless new warning McDonald’s has posted in California stores to avoid litigation. The warning seems to have a side safety benefit: by the time you finish reading it, your coffee won’t be hot any more.
In legal settlements, that is, thanks to California’s Prop 65 [Cal Biz Lit] We’ve met the Center for Environmental Health before here and here.
P.S.: Bounty-hunting for lead residues has “sort of become big business in California” [Jennifer Taggart, quoted in the Washington Post]
Bruce Nye at Cal Biz Lit has the latest from the California Prop 65 front.
Rick Woldenberg talks back to the California attorney general, and also raises some questions about Proposition 65 and the finances of the freelance enforcers in the case, the Center for Environmental Health (CEH). Two years ago we covered CEH’s crusade against the iPhone. More: Darleen Click/Protein Wisdom and a followup from Woldenberg.
“Joints and baggies sold at California’s medical marijuana dispensaries will soon carry a new warning label” now that a state panel has added reefers to the long list of officially recognized carcinogens that must be warned about under Prop 65. [San Jose Mercury News via CalBizLit]