Coffee must come with cancer warning label in California, judge rules

Chinese drink coffee at a Starbucks in central Beijing on October 24, 2016. In California on Thursday, a judge rules coffee must come with a cancer warning label. Starbucks was one of the companies named in a lawsuit that led to the ruling. File Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI

March 30 (UPI) — A California judge ruled Thursday that coffee must come with a cancer warning label.

Superior Court Judge Elihu Berle issued a tentative ruing in a lawsuit brought forth against several large companies, including Starbucks, Whole Foods, 7-11 and others for serving coffee because the beverage contains acrylamide, a chemical that might be linked to increased cancer rates.

“Defendants’ proffered evidence that coffee itself confers some benefit to human health was not persuasive,” Berle wrote in his opinion.

Berle’s ruling is based on California’s Proposition 65, which requires businesses to warn customers if a product contains a chemical linked to cancer.

Prop. 65 includes a list of chemicals that, if found in the product, must contain a warning. Acrylamide, which is found in cigarette smoke but can also ” form in some starchy foods during high-temperature cooking, such as frying, roasting, and baking,” according to the American Cancer Association, is on the list.

California businesses that serve coffee will now be required to provide “clear and reasonable” warnings about the possibility that acrylamide is linked to cancer, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.


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