Coffee may come with a cancer warning in California

California maintains a list of chemicals considered to be possible causes of cancer. Unfortunately, new data shows that acrylamide, a chemical created during the coffee bean roasting process, is on that list. In 2010, the nonprofit Council for Education and Research on Toxics filed a lawsuit in the Los Angeles County Superior Court to address the potential risk. The suit targets several nationwide and international companies that make or sell coffee—this includes Starbucks, 7-Eleven, and BP. The organization alleges that the defendants: “failed to provide clear and reasonable warning” that drinking coffee may expose individuals to acrylamide.


Under the California Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 (known colloquially as Proposition 65), businesses must provide customers with a “clear and reasonable warning” if potentially harmful agents are included in a specific product. The lawsuit claims these particular stores have failed to provide adequate warning, and the organization is demanding that informative signs be posted for convenient reading within the coffee shops.


This lawsuit, however, is only one step toward a larger goal. The attorney representing the nonprofit, Raphael Metzger, explained that the organization wants to reduce the amount of this particular chemical to the point where it poses no significant cancer risk. At the time of this posting, at least 13 of the defendants have settled and agreed to provide a warning.


Read the full, original article at CNN.

3 thoughts on “Coffee may come with a cancer warning in California

  1. This sounds like such a scam. If coffee is so bad, why have we been drinking it (and loads of it) for centuries?

    1. I don’t think it matters if this is a scam. When it comes down to it, this is about consumer protection. We deserve to know exactly what’s in what we consume, whether or not the effects may be exaggerated.

      1. Agreed, but still this this is overblown. Sure, signage is a tiny and easily-fixable thing, but I don’t think those stores were trying to mislead or miseducate their customers in any way.

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