How do you like your coffee? Some cream? A spoonful of sugar? A serving of cancer? A Los Angeles judge has ruled that coffee companies in California must include cancer warning labels. Coffee purveyors including Starbucks and Peet’s Coffee will be required to include warnings on signage at their retail locations or on individually packaged products such as cups. Are you confused because you recently read that there are fantastic health benefits that coffee provides humans? You’re not alone, a lot of people are bewildered.
On Wednesday, Superior Court Judge Elihu Berle ruled that coffee retailers must include cancer warnings after coffee companies failed to prove that coffee doesn’t cause cancer. When the coffee beans are roasted, a chemical compound called acrylamide is formed. Acrylamide is a known carcinogen, but the coffee companies say the amount of the chemical found in roasted coffee is insignificant and “harmless.” The coffee lobbyists argue that their roasted beans should be exempt because it “results naturally from the cooking process to make the beans flavorful.”
The possible warning label would read something like this:
“Chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer and reproductive toxicity, including acrylamide, are present in coffee, baked goods, and other food or beverages sold here. Acrylamide is not added to our products, but results from cooking, such as when coffee beans are roasted or baked goods are baked. As a result, acrylamide is present in our brewed coffee…”
Judge Berle ruled in favor of the Council for Education and Research on Toxics, who started the lawsuit in 2010. The National Coffee Association is considering challenging the ruling and possible further legal action because they believe more scientific research must be done. “Coffee has been shown, over and over again, to be a healthy beverage,” said National Coffee Association President and CEO William “Bill” Murray. “This lawsuit has made a mockery of Prop 65, has confused consumers, and does nothing to improve public health.”
If the ruling stands, coffee will need to have warning labels about health hazards much like cigarettes have. However, scientific research has proved that coffee has numerous health benefits. Scientific studies have found that coffee can lower the risk of diabetes, liver disease, and allowing you to age slower. The Food and Drug Administration “is still in the information gathering stage” on acrylamide.
If you still dare to drink java, find out the best time of the day to drink coffee HERE.