In November 1986, California voters approved Proposition 65, the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act. The legislation -required manufacturers to prove that ingredients in their products posed no significant risk of causing cancer or reproductive toxicity. If not, manufacturers would be required to include a warning label on any product containing an ingredient "known to the state" to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity.
CTFA responded to this initiative on a number of fronts. First, it petitioned the state to exempt cosmetics from the statute, on the ground that cosmetics are comprehensively regulated by FDA. It also met with state officials and testified at various hearings in an effort to convince the state to adopt acceptable "no significant risk" levels for several chemicals of interest to the industry.
In addition, CTFA attempted to convince both FDA and Congress that this law undermined the federal regulatory scheme.
CTFA was able to obtain an exemption from the cancer warning requirements for cosmetics that were in compliance with applicable federal and state administrative standards. This exemption lasted until December 1993.
With the subsequent appearance of Proposition-65 legislation in other states, the focus of the Association's legislative battles increasingly shifted to the states.