NAMA, CAVC Testify On Exempting Coffee From California’s Prop. 65

Posted On: 8/22/2018

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SACRAMENTO, CA -- The National Automatic Merchandising Association reports that Robert Donohue, Canteen Corp. (Sacramento, CA), joined Sandy Larson, NAMA senior director and counsel, government affairs, in testifying recently at a hearing on proposed changes to California's Proposition 65. Donohue chairs the California Automatic Vending Council's Government Affairs committee, and is a past president of CAVC.

Proposition 65 requires warnings on products that contain chemicals believed by the state to cause cancer or reproductive harm. These include acrylamide, which is found in roasted coffee beans and beverages brewed from them.

For the past several years, NAMA has worked alongside CAVC and California lobbyists on issues arising from Proposition 65. Most recently, these have included a rule mandating Proposition 65 warnings on coffee sold in California, including sales through vending machines, office coffee service equipment and micromarkets.

In June, the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) proposed adding a section to Proposition 65 specifying that drinking coffee does not pose a significant cancer risk, despite the presence of acrylamide. If this clarification is made, it will effectively exempt coffee from Prop 65's warning requirements.

Donohue testified that the convenience services industry supports OEHHA's proposed change. "Prop 65 threatens California's convenience services industry at large, whose vendors bring coffee - as well as tea, water, fresh food and more - to employers and employees throughout the state," he said. "Prop 65 would negatively impact the industry, which employs thousands of individuals in the state and brings in billions of dollars in revenue to California."

NAMA continues to encourage members to file comments in support of the proposed rule change. The comment period ends Aug. 30, and a ruling by OEHHA is expected after that date.