California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) has granted a petition that will cause OEHHA to “commence the regulatory process to issue regulations pursuant to Health & Safety Code §110552 setting a ‘naturally occurring’ lead level in candy containing chili and tamarind.” Following its' review of the petition and related materials, OEHHA decided to schedule the matter for public hearing.
The petition was submitted by the Center for Environmental Health by their attorney Eric Sommers of the San Francisco-based Lexington Law Group on March 14, 2017.
High levels of lead found in certain candies containing chili and tamarind have been a concern since an Orange County Register investigation found that these candy products posed a health threat to children when it tested the content of these candies sold at ethnic markets in Orange County in 2004.
The California Attorney General's Office joined the Center for Environmental Health in litigation to reduce the high levels of lead found in the candies and reached a settlement with Mexican companies importing the candies to reformulate the candy products and packaging which contributed to the elevated lead levels.
OEHHA tentatively scheduled the hearing to take place on June 19, but on June 2, OEHHA announced that it rescheduled the hearing on the petition to convene on July 6. The change in schedule was made to accommodate requests from interested parties to delay the hearing so they could be in attendance.
The public hearing is will take place on July 6, 2017, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. in the Sierra Hearing Room at the CalEPA Headquarters Building at 1001 I Street in Sacramento. The hearing will be webcast at https://video.calepa.ca.gov/(link is external) (not active until the day and time of the hearing).