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WARNING: This site deals only with the corporate corruption of science, and makes no inference about the motives or activities of individuals involved.
    There are many reasons why individuals become embroiled in corporate corruption activities - from political zealotry to over-enthusiastic activism; from gullibility to greed.
    Please read the OVERVIEW carefully, and make up your own mind.



Charles (Charley) Powers
Bruce N Ames



Prop 65 California    


• See also http://www.prop65news.com/

1986 November: Proposition 65 passes in California by a margin of 63% to 37% even though industry overspent the "Yes on 65" campaign by about six to one.

1988 June 13: "State Toxic & Hazardous Substance Proposals" Act.
    "The passage of the broadly-written Calif Prop 65 in November 1986 widened the traditional arena for regulation of so-called "hazardous substances" to include such commonly-used consumer products as food, cosmetics, alcoholic beverages and tobacco products. In 1988, copycat bills were introduced in Hawaii, Illinoise, Massachusetts, Missouri, New York and Tennessee - and proposed in Colorado, Arkansas, Louisiana, Michigan, New Jersey and Origon

1988 Oct: Californian Attorney-General John Van de Kamp sued eight retailers and 25 tobacco companies for failing to comply with the Californian (Prop 65) law's warning requirements. Tobacco companies soon settled part of the suit, opting to put warnings on new product packaging starting March 1989.

1989–90: RJ Reynolds report: "State Government Relations - Legislative Counsel Briefing Book" list under TOXIC SUBSTANCES:

    California's Proposition 65 and similar proposed measures requiring warnings for listed suspected carcinogens and reproductive toxicants create unnecessary and costly obligations for business, disrupt uniformity of packaging and distribution on a nationwide basis, and potentially encourage businesses to ban smoking on their premises.

  • In November 1986, California voters approved Proposition 65, which requires that businesses with 10 or more employees provide a "clear and reasonable warning" whenever they knowingly expose a person to a chemical "known to the state to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity" (e.g., the chemical is listed by the Governor upon recommendation by a Scientific Advisory Panel). To date, over 200 chemicals have been so listed as carcinogens and reproductive toxicants. Proposition 65 is enforceable by stiff fines and penalties up to $2,500 per day per violation.
  • On April 1, 1988, "tobacco smoke" was listed as a carcinogen and "tobacco smoke (excluding environmental tobacco smoke)" was listed as a reproductive toxicant.
  • In 1989, 6 states (Illinois, Hawaii, Florida, Massachusetts, Oregon and New York) have introduced Proposition 65-type legislation ; to date 3 states (Hawaii, Illinois (one of two bills) and Oregon) have defeated such measures ; the New York measure (presently covering only food) passed the Senate Committee. Hearings have been held on the Massachusetts bill, which is being watched closely. An initiative is threatened for the 1990 ballot in Massachusetts if the legislature does not act on the issue.

    Support TI and other coalitions (manufacturers' associations, chambers of commerce, farm bureaus, chemical, oil and electronics industries, restaurants and consumer products companies) in defeating Proposition 65-type initiatives and legislation.

    The tobacco industry opposes Proposition 65-type initiatives and legislation, because : - inadequate scientific evidence exists to support a listing of complex tobacco mixtures such as "tobacco smoke" as either a carcinogen or reproductive toxicant; such measures constitute poor public policy, mislead the public, impose burdensome and costly labeling requirements, drive up prices and result in inconsistent regulation by various states.

1989 May 23: Charles Power [shortly before joining the Tobacco Institute] is behind the Institute for Evaluating Health Risk , an industry coalition created to oppose Proposition 65 in California which

"effectively put the burden on businesses to warn the public if any activity, or product — from wine to dry-cleaning fluid, to the office water-cooler — poses a potentially significant health risk from exposure to chemicals that the state deems hazardous."

    The law — the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act — took effect a year before. It ordered the governor of California to create a list of chemicals "known to the state to cause cancer or repordictive toxicity" and for companies to provide "clear and reasonable" warnings . It also prohibited discharges of such chemicals into the drinking water supply.

    It provided for penalty of up to $2,500 a day, with a 'bounty-hunter' incentive of 25% of the damages. Environmental groups estimate potential tobacco penalties as high as $1.3 million. [However] "the dire consequences of this law that were predicted by industry advocates have not occurred. So far it has worked pretty well."

    "Proposition 65 is a bold, largely misunderstood experiment to force technical decisions into policy. It's potentially dangerous or alternatively a golden opportunity, depending on how welt we bring science to bear on the decision-making process,"
said the institute's organizer, Charles Powers. "It took everything we ever thought about regulation and turned it on its head. It is a complete Copernican revolution [in] ways we are just beginning to understand... We don't know where it is going to go."

    Opposed to it are the
  • Environmental Working Group, counselled by ex-EPA San Francisco lawyer Michele Corash .
  • Grocery Manufacturers Assocaition, VP Jeffrey Nedelman
  • Ingredients Communications Council (industry-backed)
  • Institute for Evaluating Health Risk, founded by Charles Powers . Backed by Hewlett Packard chairman David Packard, Donald Kennedy (ex FDA head and Stanford University president.

    The Californian Governor was opposed to the bill. He appointed a 12-person scientific advisory panel which included a number of scientists 'with EPA experience'.They held open meetings, where they were scruitinized by lawyers from both sides.
  • Bruce Ames biochemist (Chair)
  • Warner North , from consulting firm Decision Focus Inc


CONTRIBUTORS:samf jrtm srs2

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