Prop 65 and Sea Vegetables
Why the warning label? The following information and links provide some background on California’s law and the warning now on our package, as well as who we are and what we do.
To learn more about Prop 65, California's Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act, see California's Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment. If you are interested in the list of over 800 chemicals regulated by Prop 65 as of December 4, 2015, download this 400kb pdf.
Maine Coast Sea Vegetables was started in 1971 with a focus on using food for healing, and with the macrobiotic philosophy at its core. Our products are whole foods, and part of our mission is to help people access healthy, beneficial sea vegetables in as close to their natural state as possible so they can enjoy all the enzymes, minerals, fiber, and phytonutrients of this live food. We use no additives or fillers—just dried sea vegetables.
We are very careful about where and how we harvest seaweeds, in the Gulf of Maine and other areas of the North Atlantic, far from sources of pollution. The organic certification standards that we follow, set by the National Organic Program (NOP) of the USDA, also specify where and how we harvest, dry, store, and transport seaweeds. Find out more about our harvesting practices. More information on the USDA/NOP wild-crop harvesting guidelines.
To educate ourselves, we have investigated possible changes in levels of metals over time in the waters where our seaweeds are harvested. Our research indicates that the levels of metals such as cadmium and lead in the Gulf of Maine have either not changed or not increased in at least 25-30 years.
For reports on contaminants in the Gulf of Maine:
Maine Dept. of Environmental Protection's Surface Water Ambient Toxins Monitoring Program
The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)’s National Status and Trend’s Mussel Watch program (link is a 30.6mb pdf file)
Gulfwatch Contaminant Monitoring Program
To monitor the health of our products, and share what we’ve learned, we have been testing for metals, pesticide and petroleum residues, and microbiological issues for many years, with radioactivity added in 2011. Since the late 1990s, we have posted our annual test results on our website. Before the advent of the website, we shared test results on request.
To learn more about Maine Coast Sea Vegetables’ product testing, including heavy metals, see the Testing & Purity page of our website.
Our philosophy and practices, developed over decades, are not enough to satisfy the strict requirements of California’s Proposition 65. In fact, the State of California clearly states that a Proposition 65 warning "does not necessarily mean a product is in violation of any product-safety standards or requirements."1
The decision is up to you—our customer. Our approach has always been to provide the best products and information we can, and allow consumers to make the choices that are right for them. We encourage you to seek out the information you need to make the best choices for yourself and your family.
For any follow-up questions you may have for us, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org