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« The Death and Burial of Peter Russo's Father – Part 1 (Norman Costa) | Main | Franzen's momma (prasad) »

March 09, 2012


@ Sujatha:

I don't know whether to be thankful for your article, or annoyed because you made my life more worrisome.

Norman, I never know whether to indulge in some schadenfreude at the expense of all Coke and Pepsi fans out there (I'm not one myself, don't drink pop of any kind), or worry over the 1000 people out of 1 million that we could be saving from 4-MI related cancer.
The best thing to do is to live life as one wishes, and hang the dire consequences of any past peccadilloes! It was all fated, anyway ;)

Now off to do something that will most likely 'be known to cause cancer in the State of California'...

Re. state of California, on each of my trips there I've come across bizarre warnings of that sort, often carrying ridiculous messages (at the metal doors are known to the state of California to cause blunt force trauma when opened too quickly level of silliness) There's a lot of good warning material, but my experience is that the known-to-the-state-of-California chant *decreases* belief in the warning instead of increasing it. Given the choice, I bet Pepsi would rather invoke the formula than issue a more generic warning.

Thanks, Sujatha! There are so many good reasons not to drink carbonated beverages that this is only one more. 17 tsps of sugar in each can, the fact they they do not quench thirst but cause it, the fact that they are acidic enough to contribute to bone loss...esp in young women who drink the diet version seven or eight times daily to ward off hunger from dieting. One really doesn't need to focus on cancer in California lab rats to find encouragement to drop the habit.

There's so much good beer and gin in this world. Why would anybody settle for "caramel colored" soda pop?

I'm pretty sure the "known to the State of California" warning requirement pertains only to Prop. 65 substances, not to, say, dangerous structural conditions of premises. Granted, you can't walk into a California retailer's shop without encountering the Prop. 65 warning. That's because while retailers are only required to post it when they know the level of exposure poses a significant risk under certain conditions, they'd rather not assume the burden of proving the level low enough for an exemption. Hence the ubiquity of these signs, hence their relative ineffectiveness as warnings to consumers: "Oh, my. I might get cancer shopping here at Nordstrom. Best return home and make my purchases online." If this is the case, when does the ubiquity of the warning undercut its reasonableness, a factor also required by the law?

Note that the Prop. 65 rules work alongside and independent of traditional common law tort rules, which also involve requirements for reasonable warning notices. Prop. 65 allows private persons to bring actions to enforce the rules, but they don't require proof of injury to the plaintiff. Violation of Prop. 65 entails a civil penalty, not imposition of compensatory damages for injury.

Yes, Prop 65 applies only to iffy substances, I was trying to get at a level of silliness. Anyway, I did see the warnings all over the place, and observed often enough that the locals didn't even notice them unless they were pointed out, so ubiquitous were they. I imagine every chemical factory rejoiced when this initiative was passed. Direct democracy at its finest, I think.

Wikipedia says dark beer contains this same substance, so unless one is partial to the more unfashionable brews, it isn't that easily avoided...

While no private party can claim compensatory damages for injury for say, 1 million dollars, for having been 'injured' by cigarette smoke from the bar down the hallway in the hotel, there is still potential ( fulfilled, of course) for the misuse of the law by unscrupulous attorneys to extract money through out-of-court settlements, while depriving the state of the civil penalties that would have accrued to it had the case gone to court.

And while we're at it, did you know that beer could also cause cancer?

OK! I'm gonna play "Top This" with Sujatha. Check this out - "All red meat is bad for you, new study says",0,565423.story

And what do you replace the red meat with? Plants? Plants have feelings too, don't you know?

All the more reason to live and eat whatever you feel inclined to- just be happy (or worry about what you eat, if that's your preference) ;)

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