Thursday, March 19, 2009

California Court of Appeal Affirms that Methylmercury in Tuna is "Naturally Occurring"

Canned tuna is exempt from California’s Proposition 65 for methylmercury, a chemical listed by the state of California as a reproductive toxin and carcinogen, because the methylmercury in tuna is naturally occurring for purposes of Proposition 65.  So confirmed the California Court of Appeals in an opinion by Associate Justice Timothy A. Reardon in The People ex rel. Edmund Brown Jr. v. Tri-Union Seafoods (A116792, filed Mar. 11, 2009)

The tuna company defendants had also argued that federal law preempts Proposition 65 and that the level of methylmercury is below the threshold at which a warning is required; however, the appellate decision did not consider these other grounds. The decision was based solely on the whether the toxin was naturally occurring for purposes of Proposition 65.

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