Some of our southern neighbours in the U.S. are being mandated to put a cancer warning on their coffee. Are coffee chains in Canada next?
A recent report from Reuters has revealed that Starbucks and other coffee retailers in California must put cancer warnings on their coffee after a ruling from Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Elihu Berle.
Why the ruling?
According to Reuters, the coffee-selling companies failed to show that there was no significant risk from a carcinogen produced in the coffee roasting process.
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This issue was brought to light by a small non-profit group. The group sued around 90 coffee retailers, saying that they violated California laws that mandate companies to warn consumers of possible cancer-causing chemicals in products.
“One of those chemicals is acrylamide, a byproduct of roasting coffee beans that is present in high levels in brewed coffee,” said Reuters.
The National Coffee Association (NCA) of the U.S. feels differently.
“Cancer warning labels on coffee would be misleading,” said NCA in a recent statement. “The USgovernment’s own Dietary Guidelines state that coffee can be part of a healthy lifestyle. The World Health Organization (WHO) has said that coffee does not cause cancer. Study after study has provided evidence of the health benefits of drinking coffee, including longevity – coffee drinkers live longer.”
According to the NCA, the industry is considering an appeal and further legal action.
The industry has until April 10 to file an objection to the decision, says Reuters.
Dunkin’ Donuts and McDonald’s are just two of the other big names in coffee sellers under fire, and all companies involved could be facing major fines of up to $2,500 USD per person for every person and every exposure to the chemical since 2002 in California, according to Reuters.
For now, cancer warnings are on their way to coffee in California.
Should coffee come with a cancer warning in Canada?