The California Environmental Contaminant Biomonitoring Program’s Scientific Guidance Panel decided at a December 4-5, 2008, meeting that it would designate diesel exhaust and flame retardants as the first substances the state will monitor in humans under a 2006 law (SB 1379) requiring the establishment of a state biomonitoring program. The panel also reportedly agreed that the program’s pilot project would focus on analyzing maternal-infant blood samples from 250 subject pairs. A spokesperson with the state’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) apparently indicated that antimicrobials and synthetic hormones used in animal husbandry will be discussed at a future meeting. Environmentalists who attended the meeting reportedly urged the panel to prioritize other chemicals such as bisphenol A, nano silver and phthalates.

According to a press report, panel members asked OEHHA legal counsel whether another 2006 law (A.B. 289) could be applied to the biomonitoring program. That law apparently authorizes a state agency to gather from chemical manufacturers or importers information needed to detect the chemical’s presence in the environment and allows state agencies to collaborate with the manufacturers to develop other information that could be useful to the biomonitoring program, such as analytical test methods. An OEHHA spokesperson was quoted as
saying that “no official position has been developed” to date as to whether the law could be used for the program; apparently logistical and timing issues need to be addressed. See Inside Cal/EPA, December 12, 2008.

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For decades, manufacturers, distributors and retailers at every link in the food chain have come to Shook, Hardy & Bacon to partner with a legal team that understands the issues they face in today's evolving food production industry. Shook attorneys work with some of the world's largest food, beverage and agribusiness companies to establish preventative measures, conduct internal audits, develop public relations strategies, and advance tort reform initiatives.

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