Coffee May Come With A Cancer Warning


via Wikimedia Commons

this is literally cancer

Coffee is one of the most popular drinks in the U.S. From Starbucks to Coffee Bean and maybe the local gas station. Coffee helps thousands wake up and feel rejuvenated. However, many coffee companies may be affected by a preliminary decision from a California superior court judge, to put a cancer risk warning on coffee.

The reason being is that California has a list of the possible ingredients that are linked to cancer. One of those ingredients is acrylamide in coffee. This substance is used in the industrial process to produce dyes, paper, or plastic. Acrylamide can be traced in the highest amounts in cigarette smoke and coffee, which increases the risk to several types of cancer. The way coffee gets this substance is when the coffee beans get roasted, they release acrylamide that stays in coffee in high amounts. This is why California superior court decided that coffee should come with a cancer risk warning, but this is only a preliminary decision.

The first lawsuit filed against coffee came in 2010 from the nonprofit council for education and research on toxins which targets companies that make or sell coffee. The suit asks for a label to warn customers of the coffee. Under Proposition 65, each company must have a clear warning if there is the presence of a toxic chemical in a product. During the suit, it was claimed that coffee companies fail to meet Proposition 65, because of the high amount of Acrylamide in the coffee. Thirteen of the defendants including 7-Eleven, in this case, have already agreed to put on cancer risk label on their coffee. However other coffee companies such as Starbucks are still waiting for a court decision.

Although it may seem that coffee should not be drunk at all, while testing the link between cancer and Acrylamide on rats they use 1000 to 100,000 times more, on a weight basis than humans are exposed to through diets. Humans also absorb Acrylamide differently than rats and mice due to their different metabolisms. Acrylamide is okay to consume as it is already contained in fried foods, and chips. However, food and drinks that contain this substance should only be consumed occasionally.

Coffee is a staple in the United States, and it is estimated that around 150 million Americans drink coffee every day. Even if this decision only affects Californians it has the ability to impact hundreds of thousands of coffee companies and coffee drinkers.