UPDATE (TUESDAY, APRIL 3, 2018): An L.A. county judge officially ruled in favor of the Council for Education and Research on Toxics, People reports. Coffee shops should warn customers about the risks associated with consuming the potentially cancer-causing chemical acrylamide that's produced during the roasting process, the judge concluded in his ruling, which is "likely to proceed." According to The Washington Post, the ruling said: "While plaintiff offered evidence that consumption of coffee increases the risk of harm to the fetus, to infants, to children and to adults, defendants’ medical and epidemiology experts testified that they had no opinion on causation. Defendants failed to satisfy their burden of proving by a preponderance of evidence that consumption of coffee confers a benefit to human health."
The original story continues below.
Coffee in its purest form has lots of amazing, potentially life-prolonging benefits — although, as with all regularly consumed things that provide pleasure, studies intermittently celebrate its benefits and cite its negative effects. But here's the latest rather alarming news from coffee land: Under California's Proposition 65, some coffee in California might need to carry cancer warnings.
Prop 65 is in place to ensure that businesses notify customers if their products contain any of the 65 chemicals associated with cancer, reproductive issues, and birth defects. On the list? Acrylamide, a chemical produced during the bean-roasting process.
According to a 2010 lawsuit filed by the Council for Education and Research on Toxics, acrylamide is potentially cancer causing and unfortunately can be found in roasts sold at popular chains including Starbucks and 7-Eleven.
The warning, as necessitated by the lawsuit, reads: "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."
7-Eleven and 13 other vendors have already agreed to post warnings. Others will enter mediation later this month — and if they can't reach a settlement, it will likely be up to a judge to decide the matter later this year.
CNN obtained a statement from Bill Murray, C.E.O. of the National Coffee Association. In his statement, Murray defends coffee's health benefits and deems the lawsuit confusing for consumers.
Murray told CNN, "Coffee has been shown, over and over again, to be a healthy beverage. The U.S. Government’s own Dietary Guidelines state that coffee can be part of a healthy lifestyle. This lawsuit simply confuses consumers, and has the potential to make a mockery of Prop 65 cancer warning at a time when the public needs clear and accurate information about health."
So... how would you feel if your morning caffeine jolt came with this rather daunting warning?
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