When Crazy Meets Crazier: California Wants to Label Tylenol a Carcinogen

By Josh Bloom — Oct 18, 2019
Followers of the opioid crisis know that nothing much makes sense. And if you follow Proposition 65 madness in California, you know that doesn't add up either. So if you're in the mood for something that puts the Crazyometer® needle in the red, here it is. You will not be disappointed. 

Those of you who have been following the phony opioid crisis already know that nothing makes sense. Those of you who follow the madness that is called Proposition 65 in California also know that nothing makes sense.

Now we can put them together. If you're expecting this to make sense you will be deeply disappointed. If you're in the mood for something that puts the Crazyometer® needle in the red you will not be disappointed. 


First, opioid idiocy. Anyone with a functioning neuron knows by now that the decade-long crusade against pain medications has been a colossal failure on every level. Millions of pain patients are suffering because they can't get the pain meds they need. Doctors are suffering because the DEA is persecuting those who dare prescribe "too much" pain medication, whatever that means. Some are in jail. Our rights to private and personal healthcare without government intervention have gone up in smoke because the DEA/DOJ has firmly inserted itself into the collective anus of the doctor-patient relationship (and is also trying to regulate how much and what medicines can be manufactured). Drug users and addicts have been hurt because every attempt to rein in the supply of prescription narcotics has resulted in a new wave of heroin and fentanyl deaths. 

California's Proposition 65, another abomination, which I have written about many times, is an entirely different brand of stupid. Originally called the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, it no longer has anything to do with water or safety; it is purely a mechanism for predatory lawyers, in the name of public health (hah!), to go after businesses that inadvertently fail to put a cancer warning label on products that, almost without exception, do not cause cancer (See Should California Put A Warning Label On Your Penis?).

So, imagine my surprise when a reader sent me an article that (believe it or not) puts these seemingly incongruous idiocies together to form a rare super-idiocy.

  • Idiocy #1 - One of the many horrors to come from the anti-opioid crusade was the deification of Tylenol (acetaminophen) as the drug of choice for pain even though it is ineffective and can be dangerous
  • Idiocy #2 - California's Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA), the group responsible for determining which new (and almost certainly harmless) chemicals will be added to the 900+ chemicals that now make up Prop 65, has another thoroughly useless job– getting Tylenol on the Prop 65 list as a carcinogen, even though the evidence for its carcinogenicity is...well, it doesn't really matter. OEHHA doesn't require much evidence (1). Maybe someone getting a haircut overheard someone else in the next chair saying something or other about the drug. Or maybe it was another drug (2). Doesn't really matter.


IDIOCY #1 +  IDIOCY #2  =  IRONY #3  + SICK HUMOR #4

  • The academic dilettantes, who along with bloodthirsty politicians and mindless bureaucrats, created the fake opioid crisis, took away essential drugs without leaving much behind to replace them. So, Tylenol became the choice (along with NSAIDs for people who can take them) by default, even though it's a god-awful drug.
  • The professional alarmists who perpetuate Prop 65 have run out of real carcinogens, so to keep their useless jobs they need to keep coming up with new ones. Tylenol has been on their hit list since 2011. It is considered to be a "high priority" item, despite the fact that 298 million pounds of it was consumed worldwide in 2014.

When you put these two seemingly unrelated events together the possibilities for even more idiocy increase exponentially. The "best" remaining option for treating pain, which doesn't even work, is probably going to be labeled a carcinogen, but only in one state. Duh?

Imagine what the labels of these two drugs might look like if the PROP (3) fools and the Prop 65 fools both get their way!

The combination of Prop 65 and PROP. Government at it's finest.

If this seems troubling, worry not. There are a lot of fine minds out there working to make sure you don't suffer unnecessary pain. Some of them dispense quite a bit of advice.

Dr. Andrew "Pezhead" Kolodny, Confectionary Expert. And nothing else.


(1) The Prop 65 geniuses really looked bad when they tried to force companies to put cancer warning labels on glyphosate, based only upon a corrupt report from IARC. My colleague Alex Berezow turned IARC into hamburger here

(2) Prescription drugs are exempt from Proposition 65 labels. I wonder if OEHHA would like to see that changed.

(3) PROP, an acronym for Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing (which I have renamed Physicians Responsible for Opioid Prohibition) is one four-letter word that even I won't use. They are pond scum.


Josh Bloom

Director of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Science

Dr. Josh Bloom, the Director of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Science, comes from the world of drug discovery, where he did research for more than 20 years. He holds a Ph.D. in chemistry.

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