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Is California About to Rule That Aloe Vera Could Cause Cancer?

NPA Says Studies Don’t Support it, Asks CA Regulators Not to List Proven Natural Herb as Carcinogen

The Natural Products Association (NPA) submitted comments to the California Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) questioning the scientific validity of listing Aloe vera whole leaf extract and goldenseal root powder on a list of chemicals “known to the state to cause cancer.” NPA also argued that the products should receive an exemption from mandatory warning requirements for naturally occurring ingredients.

Under the proposed rules, dietary supplement and cosmetic firms producing products containing the two ingredients could be required to provide a clear and reasonable warning that the products contain carcinogens.

“Aloe vera is one of the world’s oldest and most proven natural ingredients which has been used safely by millions of people going back to ancient Egyptian times. But now, some bureaucrats in California want to label it a carcinogen and put it on the same level as benzene, carbon tetrachloride, and DDT. As two of the top FDA officials who enforced the nation’s dietary supplement laws and accredited doctors familiar with the science, we see absolutely no reason whatsoever why the State of California would do this. What’s next . . . peanut butter?” said Daniel Fabricant, executive director and CEO of the Natural Products Association.

“NPA opposes the listing of Aloe vera whole leaf extract and goldenseal root powder by California EPA’s OEHHA,” wrote Fabricant. “Since they are both naturally occurring in foods, they are exempt from OEHHA’s warning requirements when used in either food or cosmetics, in accordance with Title 27 of the California Code of Regulations. OEHHA should remove these ingredients as proposed ingredients to be listed.”

This action is being proposed pursuant to the “Labor Code” listing mechanism under the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 (Prop 65). As per International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) reports, which is based upon National Toxicology Program studies, OEHHA has determined that these two chemical food ingredients meet the criteria for listing. The proposed rules also make clear that OEHHA “cannot consider scientific arguments concerning the weight or quality of the evidence considered by IARC when it identified these chemicals and will not respond to such comments if they are submitted.”

NPA also opposes the current ministerial process under the labor code mechanism for listing chemicals…The ministerial process under California’s Health and Safety Code (Labor Code) does not allow for evaluation, critical review, or judgment of the available scientific evidence.

See all of NPA’s comments here.