According to a news source, the industry interests that lost their challenge to the listing of 4-MEI as a chemical known to California to cause cancer have filed an appeal in the Third District Court of Appeals. Cal. League of Food Processors v. OEHHA, No. C070406 (Cal. Ct. App., 3rd Dist., appeal filed February 10, 2012). The chemical is commonly found in foods such as soy sauce, roasted coffee and the caramel coloring added to colas and beer.

California EPA’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) added the chemical to the Proposition 65 (Prop. 65) list in January 2011, and a California Superior Court rejected the challenge filed by the California League of Food Processors, American Beverage Association, Grocery Manufacturers Association, and National Coffee Association in November. Additional information about the court’s ruling appears in Issue 420 of this Update.

The plaintiffs reportedly argue that appellate intervention is needed “before
California consumers are misled about the scientific data concerning
4-MEI, [and] before food and beverage producers must commit enormous
resources to place cancer warnings on the many food and beverage products
containing 4-MEI.” They contend that the report on which OEHHA based
its listing decision did not provide sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity to
support the action. See InsideEPA, February 23, 2012.

About The Author

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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