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Does coffee need a cancer warning?

February 7, 2018

That answer is in the hands of a judge in California.  A chemical known as acrylamide is a cooking byproduct that is known as Maillard reaction.  The Swedish National Food Administration reported that this chemical is in cooked food. This chemical has been found in french fries, potato chips and some grains.  So what does this have to do with coffee?

The Council for Education and Research on Toxins filed a complaint against several coffee companies for violating California's Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act.  The law requires companies that have more then 10 employees must warn customers of any chemicals that are on the state list of carcinogens in their products.  The complaint says that ready made coffee contains acrylamide, a chemical on California's list.

While several companies have settled, other major companies are fighting the case.  National Coffee Association President and Chief Executive, William "Bill" Murray, issued a statement:

"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 [Proposition] 65 cancer warning at a time when the public needs clear and accurate information about health." The American Cancer Society notes, "there are currently no cancer types for which there is clearly an increased risk related to acrylamide intake." Lets wait and see what happens next.

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