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News Posted on May 7, 2013

Professor Frank Comments on Prop. 65 Enforcement Case for Daily Journal

Professor of Environmental Practice Richard Frank commented for the San Francisco Daily Journal on the California Attorney General's efforts to enforce Proposition 65 standards against a vitamin supplement maker despite the company's claim that a 2005 settlement agreement with private litigants should exempt it from prosecution.

Prop. 65 requires companies to warn consumers if their products contain unsafe amounts of carcinogenic or reproductively toxic chemicals.  Threshold Enterprises was sued by the nonprofit organization As You Sow and reached an agreement in 2005 to reduce levels of lead in its product.  The Attorney General alleges that Threshold is still violating the law by selling lead-laden products without a warning label, but the company claims that the state's case amounts to a relitigating of a settled claim.

Professor Frank disagreed with the company's position.  "The chief law enforcement officers of California should not be bound by private litigation and privately negotiated settlements when their priorities are often in a different place than those motivating the attorney general," he said.

Frank, a 1974 graduate of King Hall, is a leader in the field of environmental law and the founding Director of the California Environmental Law and Policy Center at UC Davis School of Law.