Information Letter Issued For Total Fumonisins In Corn Snack Food Products

On December 19, 2005, Frito-Lay Inc. asked the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) for a determination that consumption of Frito-Lay’s corn snack food products does not require a warning under Proposition 651 for exposure to fumonisin B1.  The basis for the request was that exposure to a chemical in a food is not an “exposure” subject to the Proposition 65 warning requirements where it can be shown that the chemical in the food is “naturally occurring”  and has been reduced to the lowest level feasible based on good manufacturing practices.2

On January 11, 2008, in accordance with the process set forth in the regulation3, OEHHA solicited public comment on this request.  On March 11, 2008, OEHHA held a public hearing on the request in Oakland, California.   OEHHA and Frito-Lay, Inc. engaged in an interactive process to develop and share the available scientific information on fumonisin B1.  The regulation requires OEHHA to issue a public notice when it reaches a final decision on a Safe Use Determination request.

In this case, OEHHA is issuing Frito-Lay a technical information letter, rather than a Safe Use Determination.  This action is authorized under the relevant regulations.4 In summary, OEHHA has found that the European Commission regulatory level of 0.8 parts per million for fumonisins in maize-based breakfast cereal and snacks is an acceptable surrogate for the naturally occurring level of total fumonisins in corn snack foods that has been reduced to the lowest level currently feasible as it is defined in Title 27, Cal. Code of Regulations, section 25501(a)(4).

Questions regarding this notice may be directed to Sam Delson at (916) 445‑6900 or

Footnotes and References

  1. The Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, codified at Health and Safety Code, section 25249.5 et seq., commonly known as “Proposition 65.
  2. Title 27, Cal. Code of Regs., section 25501
  3. Title 27, Cal. Code of Regs., section 25204
  4. Title 27, Cal. Code of Regs., section 25204(h)