Campaigners want coffee to come with cancer warning

A future cup of coffee in California could give you jitters before you even take a sip of your cup of joe

coffee cancer warning

A lawsuit is underway in the state of California that might force coffee retailers such as Starbucks, Seattle’s Best and Dunkin’ Donuts to add a cancer warning label to their coffees.

The nonprofit organization Council for Education and Research on Toxics (CERT) has brought this suit to court. It’s an effort they began back in 2010 against 90 different companies in California, claiming these companies failed to follow a state law ― Proposition 65 ― that requires a warning for the presence of hazardous chemicals to the residents of California. The hazardous chemical in question is acrylamide, a known carcinogen, which is produced in small amounts during the coffee-roasting process.

Although the case has been percolating in the courts since 2010, it has gotten little attention.

The lawyer taking on Big Coffee said the larger goal is to motivate the industry to remove the chemical from coffee, which would also benefit his own three-cup-a-day fix.

“I’m addicted — like two-thirds of the population,” attorney Raphael Metzger said. “I would like the industry to get acrylamide out of the coffee so my addiction doesn’t force me to ingest it.”

A verdict in favour of the little-known Council for Education and Research on Toxics could send a jolt through the industry with astronomical penalties.

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