CA Proposition 65

The statements on this website have not been evaluated by the FDA. Any and all products featured or sold on this websote are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Why is there a Prop 65 warning label on some products?

  1. Proposition 65 requires businesses to provide warnings to Californians about significant exposures to chemicals that cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm.  These chemicals can be in the products that Californians purchase, in their homes or workplaces, or that are released into the environment. By requiring that this information be provided, Proposition 65 enables Californians to make informed decisions about their exposures to these chemicals. Proposition 65 requires California to publish a list of chemicals known to cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm. This list, which must be updated at least once a year, has grown to include approximately 900 chemicals since it was first published in 1987. Proposition 65 became law in November 1986, when California voters approved it by a 63-37 percent margin.  The official name of Proposition 65 is the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986.

  2. The reason some of our products contain this warning is due to the presence of lead above .5 mcg per recommended daily dose or per serving. This affects less than 15% of our products. NOTE: The highest per serving lead level found in any Derek Johnson Nutrition product is less than you might find in a 4 oz. serving of lettuce.
  3. We use the purest ingredients available, but lead is everywhere in our environment and is impossible to avoid in many natural, plant-based ingredients. That’s because lead is found in the soil where the plants are grown and, therefore, it is present in virtually all plant-based foods.

Examples of lead content of common foods as reported by U.S. FDA:

(These foods would require a Prop 65 warning if they were dietary supplements)


Median mcg/serving

Highest found mcg/serving


Lettuce, leaf, raw



4 oz. serving

Spinach, fresh/frozen, boiled



4 oz. serving

Bread, cracked wheat



6 oz. serving

Sweet potatoes, fresh, baked



4 oz. serving

Fruit juice blend (100% juice)



6 oz. serving

 (Data from US Food & Drug Administration. Total Diet Study—Market Baskets 2006-1 through 2008-4; Market Baskets 1991-3 through 2005-4.)

The fact is: Most foods found in the produce section of the grocery store, along with many other healthy foods such as nuts, fish, wine and many others—would require a Prop 65 warning label if the law was uniformly enforced.

What does a warning mean?

If a warning is placed on a product label or posted or distributed at a workplace, a business, or in rental housing, the business issuing the warning is aware or believes that it is exposing individuals to one or more listed chemicals.

By law, a warning must be given for listed chemicals unless the exposure is low enough to pose no significant risk of cancer or is significantly below levels observed to cause birth defects or other reproductive harm.

Does a Prop 65 warning mean the product is unsafe?

  1. No. As the State of California’s own Proposition 65 website states, “A Proposition 65 warning does not necessarily mean a product is in violation of any product-safety standards or requirements.”
  2. The FDA’s Recommended Safe and Tolerable Daily Diet Lead Intake for adults is 75 mcg. (This is 150 times the amount that requires a Prop 65 warning, and yet is considered safe by the U.S. FDA)
  1. The FDA has established 750 mcg as the amount of lead that is known to cause health problems.

(This is 1,500 times the amount that requires a Prop 65 warning)

An industry-wide issue

This issue affects all companies that make nutritional supplements. The fact that some companies selling in California are not adding warning labels to their products does not mean their products are free of lead. Some companies may not be aware of the law; some have apparently chosen not to comply; still others have been sued or are currently in litigation with the state of California regarding their failure to comply with the law. Since consumers have the right to be informed, and even practitioners are subject to the law and subject to fines for failure to comply, Derek Johnson Nutrition has chosen to add warning labels to any affected products, thereby informing consumers and protecting all parties involved.