A mom of two children ages eight and two bought a toque at retailer M Boutique’s Vaughan Mills location last week only to discover a label prior to washing it which read: “This product may contain chemicals considered by the state of California to lead to cancer, birth defects or other harms.” The mother mentioned that she felt violated by the retailer when she later saw all the tags removed from the remaining hats after revisiting the store.
In a statement, the retailer apologized for the inconvenience, mentioning that they do not produce their products and are at the mercy of their suppliers. They are offering a refund for those who purchased one of the 20 hats sold.
The tag comes as a warning as a result of Proposition 65, which is a Californian law accompanying products featuring life-threatening chemicals. Cancer.org states:
“California’s Proposition 65, also called the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act, was enacted in 1986. It is intended to help Californians make informed decisions about protecting themselves from chemicals known to cause cancer, birth defects, or other reproductive harm…”
While Canada does not have any laws against retailers removing foreign tags or labels, Health Canada told CP24 that the Consumer Product Safety Act binds retailers to stop selling a product if they have information that it has negative health impacts. This Canadian law may arguably be seen as ambiguous and vague, which does not put the health of Canadians first, as there may be a clear bias to aid retailers.