Sunday June 16, 2019

Californian Court Warns “Coffee Causes Cancer!”

Superior Court Judge Elihu Berle ruled the coffee companies failed to prove their assertion that there is no significant risk from acrylamide

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Coffee beans, chronic kidney disease
Coffee may prolong lifespan for people with kidney disease. VOA

A Los Angeles judge Thursday ordered coffee companies to abide by California state law and put cancer warning labels on their products.

A nonprofit group called the Council for Education and Research on Toxics is suing such popular coffee roasters and retailers as Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts and McDonald’s. They say the companies fail to warn consumers that roasting coffee naturally produces a carcinogen called acrylamide.

In the first part of the three-phase trial, Superior Court Judge Elihu Berle ruled the coffee companies failed to prove their assertion that there is no significant risk from acrylamide.

ALSO READ: International Coffee Day: Let’s Debunk Some Coffee Myths

In Thursday’s ruling after the second phase, Berle said the companies failed to adequately show coffee is a healthy drink.

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An upcoming third phase would decide what civil penalties the coffee companies would have to pay. Pixabay

“Defendants failed to satisfy their burden of proving by a preponderance of the evidence that consumption of coffee confers a benefit to human health,” he wrote.

ALSO READ: A Pilgrim Smuggled Coffee Beans To India: The Intriguing History behind the Development of Coffee Culture

Company officials have not yet responded to the judge’s ruling.

Acrylamide forms naturally when such foods as coffee, hot wheat cereals, and potatoes are cooked or deep fried.

Most medical studies show no increased risk of cancer from eating such foods.

Some recent studies have shown possible benefits from drinking coffee, including protection against liver disease, some diabetes and Parkinson’s disease. VOA

Next Story

Coffee Does Not Pose ‘Significant’ Cancer Risk, Says California

It was the first time the state has declared such a brew of chemicals safe despite the presence of carcinogens

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A patron holds an iced beverage at a Starbucks coffee store in Pasadena, Calif., July 25, 2013. VOA

California officially gave its blessing to coffee Monday, declaring the beverage does not pose a “significant” cancer risk. The rule, proposed a year ago by regulators, means coffee won’t have to carry ominous warnings that the beverage may be bad for you.

The state took the rare move after a Los Angeles judge found Starbucks Corp. and other companies failed to show that benefits from drinking coffee outweighed risks from a byproduct of the roasting process.

That ruling put the industry in jeopardy of hefty civil penalties and in the position of either developing a process to remove the chemical or warning consumers about the risk of cancer. The chemical in question, acrylamide, is on a list that California says causes cancer, though other groups classify it as a “probable” carcinogen.

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“With this news, coffee drinkers around the world can wake up and enjoy the smell and taste of their coffee without hesitation.” Pixabay

Under a law passed more than three decades ago by California voters, products that contain chemicals that cause cancer or birth defects must warn consumers about those risks.

The Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, which implements the law, concluded there was no significant risk after a World Health Organization review of more than 1,000 studies and found inadequate evidence that coffee causes cancer. Further, it concluded coffee reduces the risk of some types of cancer.

“Coffee is a complex mixture of hundreds of chemicals that includes both carcinogens and anti-carcinogens,” said Sam Delson, a spokesman for the agency. “The overall effect of coffee consumption is not associated with any significant cancer risk.”

coffee
It was the first time the state has declared such a brew of chemicals safe despite the presence of carcinogens, Delson said. Pixabay

It was the first time the state has declared such a brew of chemicals safe despite the presence of carcinogens, Delson said. The coffee industry cheered the rule. “This is a great day for science and coffee lovers,” said William Murray, president and chief executive of the National Coffee Association USA. “With this news, coffee drinkers around the world can wake up and enjoy the smell and taste of their coffee without hesitation.”

ALSO READ: Drinking Even 25 Cups of Coffee in a Day Not Bad for Heart, Says Study

The Council for Education and Research on Toxics, which successfully sued the coffee industry in a case that has dragged on more than eight years in Los Angeles Superior Court, will challenge the validity of the state’s regulation in court, said attorney Raphael Metzger.

Metzger, who represents the small nonprofit in its lawsuit against Starbucks and about 90 coffee companies, said the regulation was adopted in violation of state law and disregards the statutes the agency is supposed to implement. He said the regulation can’t be applied retroactively to nullify the judge’s ruling. (VOA)