California’s Bogus Coffee Scare Just the Tip of the Iceberg
California recently became the laughing stock of the nation when the media caught wind of the ridiculous notion that California was proposing a regulation to require coffee to carry a cancer-warning label under Prop. 65. That’s the law responsible for all those meaningless warning signs you see in hotels, restaurants and pretty much any place you go in California.
One headline said it all: “Cancer-warning labels on coffee? California ruling ‘crazy,’ scientists say “
Because of this embarrassing attention, the state quickly backpedaled to say that coffee isn’t carcinogenic after all. The science never changed. It never suggested that in real life situations coffee was dangerous in the first place. It was only when political and public pressure became so big that the state decided to side with the science.
While the coffee crisis may be off the front pages, hundreds if not thousands of other insidious and ridiculous regulations are proposed in California that share one thing in common – they are based on scientific risk assessments that do not approximate real life. Sophomoric, selective science and outlandish assumptions are standard operating procedure at Cal-EPA and state agencies that deal with air, water and ingredients found in consumer products.
- The Department of Pesticide Regulation is currently considering restricting a pesticide based on their risk assessment that assumes a 1-2-year-old child is playing tag for 21 straight days next to a field that is being sprayed every day by a farmer.
- The State Water Resources Control Board is considering a plan to restrict water to farmers that will save salmon, even though it is scientifically accepted that bass are eating 97 percent of young salmon. The board also ignores the fact that salmon populations last year were up more than 100 percent in the Stanislaus River, one of the waterways being restricted by the board. https://www.modbee.com/opinion/opn-columns-blogs/mike-dunbar/article214472449.html
- For the past year, the South Coast Air Management District has been using state data from 1975 to impose regulations on metal finishers that are 1,000 more times restrictive than anywhere in the world. The district has ignored its own flawed readings and the fact that the chemical in question (Chrome-6) comes from concrete, auto and other construction projects.
The list goes on and on.
The coffee fiasco is not an isolated situation of science and common sense going ignored. Wildly inflated risk assessments and cherry-picking data to dictate policy is all too common. This is the true embarrassment and a disservice to Californians who deserve honest, responsible protections – not imaginary ones cooked up by state agencies.
It is time to stop this madness. It is time to restore commonsense science to public policy. It is time to stop unnecessarily demonizing businesses and frightening the public for no reason.