The content of this article comes from the Internet, if it is inconsistent with the actual situation or there is infringement, please contact to delete. This article is only published in today's headlines, please do not move.
Recently, a topic that attracted a lot of attention involved a hawthorn cheese product with a huge "WARNING" label on the outer packaging, followed by a warning text in both English and Chinese: "Warning: Cancer and Reproductive System Damage"! The label raises a wide range of doubts and concerns. What exactly caused this snack product to be labeled with such a serious warning? This article will delve into this issue and explain the details and legal rationale behind it.
The source of the warning label
First, let's find out who put this warning label on. This decision is not made by the snack manufacturer itself, but is made under a California law, known as "Bill 65". Formally known as the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act, this act was passed in California in 1986 to address hazardous substances that contaminate California's water supply.
According to the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, Proposition 65 requires businesses to provide warnings on their products notifying California residents that significant exposure to certain chemicals may cause cancer, birth defects, or other reproductive harm. The hazards of these chemicals are determined by authoritative bodies including the International Agency for Research on Cancer, the National Toxicology Program and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
In short, companies must clearly point out to consumers the possible carcinogenic or reproductive harmful ingredients in their products, and this law has been expanded to apply not only to drinking water, but also to several areas such as food. As long as a product contains one of the more than 900 toxins or carcinogens listed in Bill 65, a warning label must be affixed.
Although the law was originally intended to educate California residents about the dangerous substances they were exposed to, in practice, it caused some unnecessary anxiety because many foods and products had to be labeled with such "warning labels."
Why is this snack labeled with a warning?
So, back to the original question, why is this hawthorn cheese product labeled as a warning? A closer look at the ingredient list of this snack reveals that there are no carcinogens or reproductive toxicity ingredients in it. So what's the point?
The answer: lead, which may be linked to cancer and reproductive damage. According to testing data from California authorities this year, the lead content in this snack was between 0.10 ppm undetected. Here, ppm means parts per million, i.e. 1ppm equals 1mg/kg.
However, lead levels below 0.05 ppm are considered undetected, while those above 0.10 ppm are considered "contaminated", although some batches have detected values close to the maximum threshold but are still within the standard range.
Therefore, even if the lead content of the product is within the standard range, under the provisions of Act 65, a warning label must be placed as long as the level of exposure is expected to result in a significant cancer risk. The "significant risk" in the bill is defined as no more than one additional cancer case per 100,000 people in a 70-year lifespan. This means that if someone is exposed to a chemical at the expected level within 70 years, the chance of developing cancer caused by it is less than 1 in 100,000, and there is no need to put a warning label on the substance.
In addition, the bill sets similarly strict limits on birth defects and reproductive harm. Therefore, in order to avoid "warning labels", companies need to meet two conditions: first, the product must not contain relevant substances that exceed the standard, and second, there must be sufficient evidence that the product does not increase the risk of cancer. In contrast, the former is relatively easy to implement, while the latter requires a complex proof process, so many businesses choose to put a warning label to avoid unnecessary legal battles.
Is lead a health hazard?
Lead is a potentially health-threatening substance, but it is the dosage that needs to be noted. In our lives, lead is everywhere, in the natural environment and in items related to daily life, including furniture, toys, old paint, lead emissions from car exhaust, old water pipes,
Even some everyday foods may contain trace amounts of lead. In fact, about 90% of lead in the human body comes from food intake. However, the key is to control intake, as long as the intake is reasonably controlled, the potential harm of lead to human health can be reduced.
There is some limited evidence that long-term exposure to lead may be associated with stomach, lung, kidney, and brain cancers. In addition, long-term exposure to lead in men may affect reproductive function, exposure to large doses of lead in women may lead to miscarriage, and lead poisoning in children may adversely affect the brain and nervous system, growth, and development.
However, it is important to emphasize that the key is in the dose. The lead content of the hawthorn cheese products in this incident was far below the national standard. China's food standards stipulate that the lead content in fruit products should not exceed 1.0mg/kg, or 1ppm. According to the test data from 2013 to 2014, the lead content of this hawthorn cheese is ≤0.1ppm, which is far lower than the national standard. Therefore, from a food safety perspective, this product can be considered safe and edible.
To sum up, although this hawthorn cheese product meets national standards, it is necessary to maintain strict control of lead content to reduce potential health risks. We encourage industries to further optimize lead control, and authorities should strengthen the regulation of lead residue standards to ensure that more people are protected from lead's potential health hazards. In addition, we should be skeptical of rumors and uncertain information, waiting for professional explanations, rather than blindly accusing and attacking, which is crucial for anyone and anything.
Ultimately, while the hawthorn cheese product in this incident has lifted the warning label, the rumors could leave a lasting impact. Therefore, we should treat all kinds of information rationally, rely on scientific and professional interpretation, and make informed decisions.
The above content and materials are derived from the Internet, and the author of this article does not intend to target or allude to any real country, political system, organization, race, individual. The above does not mean that the author of this article endorses the laws, rules, opinions, behaviors in the article and is responsible for the authenticity of the relevant information. The author of this article is not responsible for any issues arising above or related to any of the above, nor does it assume any direct or indirect legal liability.