The Santa Barbara Biltmore is swanky. An enclave of Spanish revival cottages tucked amongst lush vegetation and tiled fountains. Right on the Pacific Ocean, you can do a few laps in its enormous pool, then step onto a sandy beach.
A guest in one of the bungalows, say Fremont — they each have names — could wake up, feeling luxurious and pampered, wrap himself in a thick white robe and, musing whether to splurge on a room-service breakfast in the charming little courtyard, lazily flip open the menu and, among the freshly squeezed juices and sinful waffles, be confronted with:
Chemicals Known to the State of California to Cause Cancer or Birth Defects or Other Reproductive Harm May Be Present In Foods or Beverages Sold or Served Here.
It goes on ... and on. But you get the idea. The warning even points out that drinking water out of the fancy Biltmore glasses might be a problem, since "consuming food of beverages that have been kept or served in leaded crystal products made of leaded crystal will expose you to lead ..."Foods such as French fries, potato chips cooked in oil at high temperature can produce Proposition 65-listed chemicals such as acrylamide, which is known to the state to cause cancer. Broiling, grilling and barbecuing fish and meats can produce Proposition 65-listed chemicals such as benzo-a-pyrene, which is known to the State to cause cancer. Nearly all fish and seafood contain some amount of mercury and related compounds chemical known to the State of California to cause ...
Welcome to California. The idea of the state being an asylum of health fanatics and lifestyle extremists might feel outdated, a 1970s cliche. Outdated because much of the country is imitating them now, with big business — hello, Whole Foods — catering to their whims.
But stereotypes often have a grain of truth, and occasionally, California manages to top itself. Last Wednesday, a Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge issued a ruling in a 2010 lawsuit that large businesses serving coffee must post cancer warnings or face a hefty fine because roasted coffee contains trace amounts of the same acrylamide that caused the Biltmore to try to slap its guests' hands away from the chips.
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