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State of California Ordered to Answer Petition for Processed Meat

The Superior Court of California has ordered the State of California to respond to a petition brought forward by a nonprofit organization calling for the addition of processed meat to the Proposition 65 list of substances known to cause cancer or reproductive harm. The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) advocates for plant-based diets and has been requesting that California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) to add processed meat to the CA Prop 65 list since 2015 when an IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer) study classified processed meat as carcinogenic to humans. The study claimed sufficient evidence that the consumption of processed meat causes colorectal cancer. The PCRM filed a lawsuit last year seeking to compel the Governor of California to add processed meats to the proposition list. OEHHA has repeatedly pushed back on the listing stating that processed meat is not a single chemical and that such listing could result in an over warning situation. On May 28, the Superior Court of California rejected OEHHA’s legal challenge which means the case will proceed. The court did not rule on the merit of the case but declined to dismiss the case so that full arguments from both sides can be considered. A Prop 65 listing for processed meat could significantly impact many products including sausages, hamburger meats, etc.

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Picture Credit Susanne Kuehne

Posted on 11 June 2021