Published: Fri, February 02, 2018
Medical | By

California coffee shops may be required to display cancer warnings

California coffee shops may be required to display cancer warnings

After decades of conflicting information over whether or not coffee was good or bad for you, your morning cup of joe may now come with a cancer warning in California.

California's Proposition 65 law requires the state to inform residents about approximately 800 chemicals it's labeled toxic or cancer-causing.

Several of the companies involved in the lawsuit have already settled.

The lawsuit, filed by the Council for Education and Research on Toxics (CERT), argues that businesses that sell coffee in California have failed to provide that warning.

The lawsuit seeks to force the defendants not only to pay fines but also to put out warnings about the acrylamide chemical, explaining how drinking coffee involves potential risks.

According to the National Cancer Institute, people are exposed to "substantially more" acrylamide from cigarette smoke than from food. But a 2014 review published in the Journal of Nutrition and Cancer said that human trials have so far found "no statistically significant association between dietary acrylamide intake and various cancers". "As a result, acrylamide is present in our brewed coffee, including coffee made at home or elsewhere from our beans, ground or instant coffee, baked good or other foods sold here, in grocery stores or other retail locations".

Raphael Metzger, the lawyer representing CERT, told CNN that their goal is to reduce the use of acrylamide in coffees.

That said, the amount of acrylamide in coffee specifically is not as high as it is in some other acrylamide-containing foods, such as fries, potato chips, and cereals, says Motoko Mukai, PhD, Diplomate of the American Board of Toxicology and Assistant Professor in the Department of Food Science at Cornell University. "To date, there is no evidence that drinking coffee leads to increased risk of cancer, so at this point, coffee drinkers don't need to worry too much about the presence of acrylamide in coffee", she says.

"Coffee has been shown, over and over again, to be a healthy beverage".

Raphael Metzger, the attorney representing the nonprofit, told CNN that private mediation with nine of the remaining retailers is set for February 8 and, absent a settlement, would likely be decided by a judge later this year.

At least 13 of the defendants have settled and agreed to give a warning, including recently 7-Eleven, according to Metzger as CNN notes.

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